On Saturday morning, a tanker traveling along U.S. Highway 412, near Tulsa, Oklahoma, rear ended a slow-moving car, causing the tanker to rollover on a bridge and spill 5,000 gallons of crude oil into Keystone Lake.
The tanker was driven by Connect Transport driver Michael Troy Royster, 45. Royster was trapped in the wreckage for nearly an hour. The Jaws of Life had to be used to free Royster from the truck.
The car, driven by 20-year-old Gwenuana Deshae Dean, was operating with a flat tire and under the minimum speed limit. According to Oklahoma’s Channel 9 News, Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers said that Dean “smelled of alcohol.”
The four-lane divided highway has a speed limit of 70 mph and the minimum speed limit is 40 mph. At this time, it is unclear whether Royster was unable to get into another lane or just came upon the car too quickly to react.
Dean’s car came to rest against the guard rail and the tanker rolled onto the lake’s rocky shore.
Royster was transported to the hospital via helicopter and is in stable condition but sustained head, internal and external injuries.
“It’s a bad deal for everyone involved. It was just a guy out on the road making a living, and this happens.” U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Keystone Lake Manager Will Jeffries told Channel 9 News.
At this time, it is unclear what charges either driver will face.
Follow this link to Channel 9 News coverage, photos and video of the accident.