Man arrested in connection with fatal Johnston County collision
A man was arrested in connection with a Friday collision that shut down State Highway 1 in Johnston County for several hours. The crash injured two passengers, including a toddler.
The collision, which killed a young mother from Sulphur and injured her 2-year-old son, occurred around 7:45 a.m. near Mill Creek, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Hours later, the driver believed to be responsible for the collision was taken into custody. Efrain Ramirez-Hernandez, 28, of Oklahoma City, was arrested and booked into the Johnston County jail for first degree manslaughter, operating a motor vehicle without a valid license and passing without sufficient clearance.
According to OHP, Ramirez-Hernandez had been heading southbound on the highway in a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe when he traveled left of center to pass a semi. While attempting to pass the semi, Ramirez-Hernandez reportedly struck the victim's vehicle head on.
Johannah Turnmire, 24, of Sulphur, was reportedly pinned in her vehicle for an extended amount of time before being extricated by firefighters from the Mill Creek Fire Department. According to OHP, Turnmire sustained massive injuries due to the collision and was pronounced dead on the scene.
Her 2-year-old son was inside the vehicle at the time of the collision and sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office. The child was transported to Mercy Hospital in Tishomingo where he was treated and released.
A passenger in Ramirez-Hernandez’s vehicle was also injured in the collision. Roberto Garcia-Villa, 67, of Oklahoma City, was transported to the OU Medical Center where he was admitted in fair condition with multiple injuries.
Ramirez-Hernandez was also flown to the OU Medical Center to be treated for injuries and was released later that day.
According to Johnston County deputies, Ramirez-Hernandez is believed to be in the country illegally and has been placed on an immigration hold. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate the collision.
In a Dec. 4 statement on social media, the sheriff’s office expressed condolences for the victims of the incident.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the young mother, which was killed in a senseless collision. We also pray for the recovery of her young son,” the statement read. “This was a tragedy which could have been prevented had this suspect not been behind the wheel of a vehicle to begin with.”