Teen charged with manslaughter in triple fatal crash on SH 33 west of Perkins

By Patti Weaver

(Stillwater, Okla.) – A teenager accused of driving left-of-center a GMC SUV under the influence of marijuana compounds has been charged with three counts of first-degree manslaughter in a violent crash with a sedan. Hyundai on Highway 33 near Cottonwood Road six miles west of Perkins which claimed the lives of three passengers, ages 4, 7 and 19, at 10:48 p.m. on April 10, 2021.

The defendant, Lillian Caroline Smith, 19, of Del City, is yet to be arraigned on the three counts filed in Payne County District Court last week when a warrant was issued against his arrest. Each count of first-degree manslaughter carries a prison sentence of four years to life on conviction.

Smith was driving a red 2002 GMC Envoy SUV eastbound on Highway 33, and her boyfriend, Braden O’Rourke, 19, of Oklahoma City, was in the front passenger seat, according to a highway patrol affidavit from Oklahoma Michael Wallace.

“The GMC came off the pavement, into the outer shoulder and contacted the rumble strip. Smith over-corrected to the left, started to turn counter-clockwise, crossed the eastbound lane, crossed the center line and entered the opposite westbound lane.

“A silver 2018 Hyundai Elantra was driving west. The red GMC was out of control and in a wide slide as it entered the Hyundai’s path. The Hyundai struck the passenger side of the GMC near the “b” and “c” pillar area. The GMC left the roadway to the north and rolled over a quarter of a time, on the driver’s side,” the affidavit alleged.

The Hyundai was driven by Justin Ramski, 21, of Oklahoma City, who had four passengers – his girlfriend, Jasmyne Owze, 20, of Guthrie, and his three children, ages 3, 4 and 7, according to a OHP report.

“The Hyundai spun clockwise and came to rest on the roadway facing north. Bystanders arrived at the scene and helped to extricate Ramski, Owze and the children from the Hyundai. Few shortly thereafter, the Hyundai caught fire and burned to the ground,” the affidavit states.

Two of the children, aged 4 and 7, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the affidavit. The youngest child, 3, and Ramski were transported by LifeNet to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, according to the affidavit.

“Members of the Perkins and Coyle Fire Departments responded to the scene, extinguished the fire, extracted Smith and O’Rourke from the GMC, but O’Rourke was pronounced dead at the scene. Smith and Owze were transported by medical helicopter to the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, according to the affidavit.

“Private Shayne Ballard went to the hospital, spoke with the two drivers, Smith and Ramski, and asked if they would consent to a blood test for intoxicants. Both drivers provided consent and a blood sample,” the affidavit alleged.

“OBSI toxicology testing revealed that Smith’s blood samples contained 11-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (hydroxy-THC), 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCA) and tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), and Ramski’s blood sample contained 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THCA) and tetrahydrocannabinols (THC),” as well as fentanyl that Ramski received via EMS on his way to the hospital, according to the affidavit.

On April 13, 2021, OHP Troopers Matt Stacy and Matthew Ledbetter drove to a towing company where they photographed the burnt-out 2018 Hyundai Elantra, according to the affidavit. With a search warrant for the GMC, the soldiers “located and seized marijuana and marijuana smoking products,” according to the affidavit.

Private Wallace “attempted to speak with Smith after he recovered and was released from the hospital. Smith’s mother informed (Trooper) Wallace that Smith had no recollection of the events of the collision and did not want her daughter to answer any questions,” the affidavit alleged.

“While driving on an Oklahoma state highway, Smith failed to maintain her lane and control her vehicle. Smith crossed the center line, entered the opposite lane of traffic in the direct path of the oncoming Hyundai.

“It resulted in the deaths of an adult, Braden O’Rourke, and two young children,” ages 4 and 7, according to the affidavit.

“At the time of the collision, Smith had THC and other marijuana compounds in his blood as well as marijuana in his possession,” the affidavit alleged.

A total of 32 witnesses have been listed for the prosecution, including Perkins Fire Chief Joseph Barta, Payne County Sheriff Joe Harper, OU Medical Center staff, State and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
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