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OHP officials release details related to Friday pursuit and crash Featured

Written by  Monday, 17 July 2017 18:16
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Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Public Affairs Division press release


In a press conference Monday afternoon, OHP officials released the details of an investigation related to the Friday incident in which Lt. Heath Meyer #64 was critically injured. The investigation has shown that Meyer was struck by an OHP vehicle during a pursuit.


OHP Chief Ricky Adams called Friday night’s events “a perfect storm.”


Head investigator Capt. Ronnie Hampton said Trp. Rodney Rideaux #375 stopped a vehicle about 10:20 p.m. Friday for following too closely. The car was driven by 28-year-old Dangelo Ladon Burgess in the southbound lanes of I-35 on the Indian Hills off ramp from I-35. Rideaux learned that Burgess did not have a driver license.


A passenger, Sonny Ramirez, 30, was later discovered to be wanted on kidnapping charges in an unrelated incident and was taken into custody. A second passenger, Lalenjay K. Warner, 31, was later interviewed and released.


Rideaux asked Burgess to step out of his vehicle, which he did briefly, but then got back in his car and took off at a high rate of speed on the west side service road, southbound. Rideaux, soon joined by other Troopers, pursued.


The suspect vehicle crossed I-35 on Tecumseh Road, then headed northbound on I-35, at speeds exceeding 110 miles per hour, according to OHP.

Meyer responded to the scene and deployed stop sticks in the left-hand lanes of northbound I-35. Trp. Eric Foster #724 deployed stop sticks in the right-hand lanes. Burgess braked quickly and was able to avoid both sets of stop sticks. Rideaux and Trp. Clint Painter #665, pursuing, also braked quickly and the vehicles collided, striking Lt. Meyer, who was outside his own vehicle on the left-hand side of the roadway.


Burgess was taken into custody a short time later by other Troopers and was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia.

Charges have been filed against Burgess in Cleveland County. Charges include:

· Attempt to elude peace officer (cause accident resulting in great bodily injury to another) (felony)
· Cause collision resulting in great bodily injury to another without appropriate driver license (felony)
· Fail to stop for roadblock
· Following too closely
· Fail to properly wear seatbelt (driver)
· Operate vehicle while driver license suspended (first offense)
· Possess, deliver, sell or manufacture drug paraphernalia (using motor vehicle)
· Fail to comply with compulsory insurance law


Adams and Hampton, along with DPS Commissioner Michael C. Thompson, thanked the members of the media and the public at large for their support of the Meyer family and the OHP.


“We ask these men and women to do an incredibly dangerous job,” Thompson said. “The agency is going through a tremendous amount of pain.”


Meyer, age 43, remains in critical condition at an Oklahoma City hospital. He is a graduate of the 55th OHP Academy in 2005.


David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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