Driver in Tulsa wrong-way accident dies

by: Greg Brown Updated:

TULSA, Okla. - Quick facts:

  • An alleged wrong-way driver caused multiple crashes on both Highway 11 and I-244 Tuesday afternoon.
  • The driver was hospitalized after a crash with a semi near I-244 and Utica.
  • Officials say he is responsible for at least five crashes.
  • Oklahoma Highway Patrol identified the driver as Jason Williamson, 33
  • Officials confirmed Williamson has died 

 

Troopers say alcohol may have played a role in a series of crashes after an alleged wrong-way driver sped through traffic on Tulsa highways Tuesday.

Police told FOX23 they learned of the driver on State Highway 11 after they say he hit a vehicle while driving the wrong way.

Troopers say the driver caused at least five crashes.

The driver was spotted on I-244 after 3 p.m.

He was later identified as Jason Williamson. Department of corrections officials and troopers confirm Williamson was released from prison in May after serving time for weapons and drug charges.


Oklahoma Department of Corrections

He was reportedly driving westbound in eastbound traffic.

Troopers said he crashed out near I-244 and Utica when he hit a semi head-on after side-swiping another vehicle.

A witness told FOX23 the driver was going the wrong way on an exit ramp to get back on the highway when he hit a semi head-on. Firefighters, however, say the driver never left the highway.

I-244 was shutdown eastbound from the IDL to Lewis. Two westbound lanes also closed. Lanes reopened just before 6 p.m.

Employees at a nearby Robertson Tire business said they saw crashed vehicles, including a semi, on the highway.

Crews told FOX23 it took 15 minutes to get the driver out of his SUV.

HAZMAT had to clean up diesel from the semi after the crash.

Officials said the driver is in critical condition, and the driver of the semi was also taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Troopers believe alcohol may have been a factor.

Officers and deputies say there was no chase leading up to the final crash. Tulsa Police responded after the first crash on Highway 11 was called. 

Once the driver got on I-244, entering OHP's jurisdiction, troopers responded. 

Both agencies say it is not policy to follow the driver on the wrong side of the road. When possible, they handle these situations by blocking civilian access to the area a wrong-way driver travels. 

In this case, such action was not possible. 

They also try to drive parallel to the driver in the lanes going the correct way, attempting to get into a tactical position. 

Law enforcement said the situation happened quickly- the final crash ending the situation just 4 minutes after the first 911 call. 


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