By Jeff Shultz
A truck driver’s failure to secure his rock load was what caused a tragic vehicle accident that killed two Pauls Valley women.
The accident occurred on Tuesday, March 26, on U.S. 77 and Kimberlin Road, .2 miles north of Pauls Valley.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, a 2012 Peterbuilt tractor-trailer driven by Billy D. Melson of Pauls Valley was hauling rocks, traveling northbound on U.S. 77.
At the same time a 2017 Dodge Journey driven by Norma Caldwell was southbound on 77 when she met Melson’s truck.
Unknown to Melson, a large rock fell out of the trailer, striking Caldwell’s car on the passenger side of her car where Flora Perkins, 83, and Wanda Oliver,89, were seated.
According to the OHP, the large rock and struck Perkins, who was in the front passenger seat.
The rock then traveled into the back seat, striking Oliver. Both Perkins and Oliver were pronounced dead at the scene by Mercy EMS, the OHP reported.
The OHP had to review security camera footage from a nearby industry to determine the heartbreaking events of the accident.
Trooper Shane Ballard of the Traffic Homicide Detachment of Troop V investigated the accident.
Troopers Chris Earnhart, Josh Christian and Heath Green of the Garvin County Detachment of Troop F assisted him.
Also assisting were Lt Bryant Harris and Lt Brett Sayre of Troop F and Trooper Tommy Riddle of Troop S.
The Garvin County Sherriff’s Office, Pauls Valley Fire Department, Pauls Valley Police Department and Mercy EMS of Pauls Valley also assisted in the investigation.uls Valley also assisted in the investigation.