The Norman Transcript

April 12, 2013

Witnesses offer testimony in manslaughter trial

By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Two witnesses of the two-vehicle fatality wreck that led to a manslaughter charge last year testified in court Thursday.

Angel and Kurt Wilbourn were questioned in front of the jury and several who attended the trial, including Oklahoma County employees who worked with the victim who died in the wreck, 36-year-old Safari McDoulett of Oklahoma City.

Angel Wilbourn and her son, Kurt, were on their way home with family from visiting Angel’s parents in Shawnee when they saw the accident occur. Kurt, 17, recounted what he saw after the collision occurred.

McDoulett’s black SUV was upside down in the middle of the roadway on State Highway 9. Kurt said the whole vehicle was damaged.

“When I got to the car, she (McDoulett) was laying in front of it,” Kurt said. “I asked if she was alright and I touched her shoulder.”

When asked if she responded, Kurt said no.

Kurt then made his way over to the yellow Dodge Ram pickup that had crossed the center line, causing the collision. When he reached the vehicle he said the driver was outside of his vehicle, leaning into the driver’s side window and doing something with his phone.

When Kurt asked the man if he was OK, he didn’t reply. When questioned in court, Kurt said he saw no injuries to the man and he appeared conscious. When asked about the man’s demeanor or appearance, Kurt said the man appeared to be slightly slow and unresponsive, like he wasn’t processing things very fast.

The driver did not respond to Angel either whenever she reached the truck.

Shortly after, a park ranger reached the scene and he did not receive a response from the driver either, reports indicate. At that point, Kurt said, the park ranger pulled the man out where he was leaning into the window to try to get him to comply with his instructions and answer his questions.

The man still did not comply and an altercation began. At that time, a Norman police officer arrived at the scene and helped the park ranger restrain the man and cuff him, Kurt recalled.

The man was Mark Allen Peters, 54, of Noble, who was charged with first-degree manslaughter, possession of controlled dangerous substance and obstructing an officer after the incident on Feb. 20, 2012.

In Peters’ pants pocket, police found a prescription pill bottle with two different types of pills in it, according to the affidavit filed with charges. The prescription pills were hydrocodone, which he had gotten that day, and the others found were Diazepam — which is a schedule IV controlled substance, the affidavit stated.

Before the accident occurred, Angel said she observed the driver of the yellow Dodge Ram pickup, swerving left to the center line several times so she called 911.

Prior to the 911 call, Angel said she saw the yellow truck cross the center line twice, and nearly hit another car in the other lane one of those times.

“The first time was a quick swerve in and out,” she said. “The second time it was a complete drift into the eastbound lane and then the drift back.”

Kurt also said he saw the yellow pickup swerve left of the center line several times before the collision.

While on the phone with 911, she said she observed the yellow pickup crossing the center line several times again. During that call, Angel told dispatch she believed the man to be driving drunk because of his erratic driving. At the time of the collision, the 911 operator had her on hold.

When she was asked how far over the center line the yellow truck went when the vehicles collided she said, “pretty much the entire truck was in the other lane of traffic.”

When Angel was asked if she called 911 to try to prevent a collision she replied, “yes.” And when she was asked if she was able to do that she replied, “no,” while tears rolled down her face.

Angel wasn’t the only one to call 911 that day because of Peters’ driving. Earlier that day, about 15 to 30 minutes before the accident occurred, another called to report his driving beginning around the area of 149th Street and Choctaw Road and ending around 164th Street and Peebly Road. That man, Jerry Miller, testified Wednesday in court.

The trial will continue today in District Judge Tracy Schumacher’s courtroom at Cleveland County Courthouse.

Jessica Bruha

366-3540

jbruha@normantranscript.com

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