The Norman Transcript

Local news

June 14, 2012

OHP set to suggest charges

NORMAN — Two pedestrians killed in collision on Interstate 35

Highway patrol troopers will soon suggest preliminary charges in the Saturday death of two pedestrians on Interstate 35 .

Patrol spokeswoman Betsy Randolph said her agency plans to deliver the complaints against driver Linda Oliver, 59, of Pauls Valley, to the McClain County District Attorney’s Office within the next few days.

She said troopers expect to accuse Oliver of inattention, which allegedly led to her vehicle’s collision with two pedestrians: David Walter, 34, of Noble, and Paul Householter, 63, of Plano, Texas.

Both men had exited their vehicles to assist the driver of a broken-down vehicle. The incident occurred in the northbound lane of I-35, near McClain County’s mile marker 102.

“It’s very possible that the charges could include vehicular manslaughter or negligent homicide,” Randolph said. “The very least that this person could be charged with is inattentive driving. That title is very loosely applied to someone who is distracted by something outside the vehicle or inside the vehicle where someone is killed.”

Randolph said Oliver likely was distracted by the disabled vehicle on the shoulder.

According to a highway patrol incident report, Oliver changed lanes to move away from the disabled vehicle.

She did not immediately notice that other vehicles were slowing down. When she took notice, she allegedly swerved to avoid the vehicles, colliding with Walter and Householter on the shoulder instead.

Randolph said troopers do not suspect that Oliver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Troopers, however, sent a sample of Oliver’s blood to OSBI for testing, as required by state law in fatality traffic collisions.

Results usually come back within four weeks, which could lead to modifications in Oliver’s yet-to-be-filed charges.

Randolph said troopers interviewed Oliver the night of the wreck, though she has not been taken into custody.

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