Payne Mitchell Ramsey
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Members of North Texas softball team who died in crash remembered

The 18-wheeler that slammed into a bus in Oklahoma, killing four softball players from North Central Texas College in Gainesville, showed no signs of braking or swerving out of the way before the crash, federal investigators said Sunday.

The semi’s driver, Russell Staley, 53, of Saginaw, told investigators that he was distracted by something in the truck’s main cabin, but investigators declined to release more information.

The 18-wheeler was heading north on Interstate 35 near Davis, Okla., about 9 p.m. Friday when it failed to follow the slight curve of the road, investigators said. It went straight through the median for about 820 feet on a shallow angle before colliding into the southbound bus, said Robert Sumwalt, a member of the National Transportation and Safety Board. The truck continued about 300 feet, stopping only after striking trees.

Investigators found no apparent problems with the truck’s brakes.

The team’s head coach, Van Hedrick, and 15 players were returning from a scrimmage against Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla., when they were hit, authorities said. Three women died at the scene, and one died at an area hospital. All were from North Texas.


Dallas Morning News
Andy Payne & Todd Ramsey have been hired to represent the family of Brooke Deckard who was killed in this crash.  A lawsuit on her behalf was filed in Tarrant County.

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