The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

March 20, 2013

Transit damaged: 5 injured in Van Buren collision

ENID, Okla. — An Enid Transit bus was damaged extensively Wednesday morning when it was struck from behind in the 2800 block of South Van Buren by a Ford F-350 pickup, according to an Enid Police Department report.

Five people were injured when the truck driven by John T. Turpin, 43, struck the bus, which was stopped along the west curb of Van Buren to allow passengers to unload, according to the report. The bus had proper flashers signaling while passengers were offloading.

Turpin told police he was in the outside lane of Van Buren traveling westbound, and was at the peak of the hill when he looked down to get his coffee cup, at which time he realized the bus was stopped along the curb, according to the report. Turpin said he swerved but it was too late to avoid the collision, which happened around 8:30.

The right passenger corner of Turpin’s truck struck the left rear corner of the Transit bus, a 2007 Ford E-450 driven by Billy E. Hart. The impact of the collision pushed the bus several more feet onto the curb before it came to rest.

According to the report, two passengers were waiting to offload the bus when it was struck. Trina Stelzer suffered a possible leg injury but refused treatment at the scene. Maple Bowlin suffered a possible arm injury and was taken by Life EMS to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

Two of Turpin’s four passengers suffered possible injuries, but refused treatment at the scene, according to the report.

Turpin told the investigating officer his girlfriend would bring his insurance verification. However, when she arrived it had an effective date of March 20. A call to the insurance agency stated the policy was activated at 9 a.m., after the collision had occurred.

Turpin was cited for failure to devote full time and attention to driving, failure to carry security verification and having an invalid tag.

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