Sheila Stogsdill

Special to the Grove Sun

MIAMI ó Ten counts of negligent homicide were filed today in Ottawa County District Court connection with a June 26 crash on the Will Rogers Turnpike that left 10 people dead.

A misdemeanor arrest warrant was issued for Donald Leroy Creed, 76, of Willard, Mo., said Eddie Wyant, District Attorney.

Creed is the driver of an Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. tractor-trailer that rammed into six vehicles that had come to a standstill because of an earlier wreck.

Bail is set at $20,000, Wyant said.

Wyant said he hasnít spoken to Creed but said the truck driver will either surrender to authorities or be taken into custody.

Creed has an unpublished telephone number and could not be reached for comment. Steve Dillard, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. vice president of corporate sales was also unavailable for comment.

It isnít known why Creed failed to stop or if medical problem or inattention caused the crash, according to a 5-page arrest warrant.

Creed was on a 22-minute cell phone call that concluded eight minutes before the crash, the warrant states.

The caller, Carey Bass, a close family friend, told authorities Creed seemed coherent and didnít say anything about being fired or sleepy, but believed he might have had a stroke.

Creed was having unknown heart problems and his blood pressure unexpectedly goes up, Bass said.

The seven vehicle pileup shut down the eastbound lanes of the turnpike from Miami to the Missouri state line for over seven hours and was one of the deadliest in Oklahoma history. ?

ďThere were no pre-impact, or post impact skids left from the semi,Ē according to the arrest warrant.

According to the warrant three cars were pinned underneath the tractor-trailer with multiple people injured.

Creed told the Oklahoma Highway Patrol he didnít know what happened and thought he was hit in the rear or the cars drove up under him, the warrant states.

In an OHP report released in August found no defects in the tractor-trailer. His cruise-control indicated he was traveling 71 mph at the time of the crash, and the speed limit was 75, the report said.

Troopers also found no evidence Creed tried to stop his tractor-trailer and had been working since 3 a.m. that day.

Witnesses reported Creedís rig changed lanes without signaling, was traveling at the high rate of speed and they never saw brake lights.

A 1974 crash on Interstate 40 between El Reno and Yukon claimed 13 lives in a chain-reaction pileup when motorists drove into smoke across the highway. ?