Woodward, Okla. — A man was airlifted to an Enid hospital following an accident along Highway 270 approximately 2 miles northwest of Woodward on Friday, Aug. 3.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported that George Martin Gonser, 55, of Laverne, suffered head, leg, arm and external trunk injuries in the accident and was taken by Air Evac to St. Mary's Regional Hospital in Enid where he was listed in stable condition.
According to the report Gonser was driving northwest on Highway 270 in a pickup when the tread on the rear driver's side tire separated, causing the driver to lose control with the vehicle going off the right side of the road and hitting a tree.
Witnesses on the scene also believed that the tread from one of the tires on his pickup might have come off.
Shane Helton, who was one of the first few people to come upon the accident scene, said he called 9-1-1 to report the accident. In speaking with other witnesses, Helton said he heard reports that "something came out from under his truck before he lost control."
Helton himself said he saw "a large cloud of dust and a big truck go into the opposite lane to go around" the pickup as it ran off the road.
Allen Jones was traveling southeast along Highway 270 and had just passed the red pickup as it drove northwest, when he said, "I heard a noise."
"It was just a pop," Jones said, but it was enough for him to look back in his rearview mirror.
"Next thing I know he's going in the ditch, dirt is flying, the tree was falling over and I knew something bad happened," he said.
Jones said he couldn't help but turn around and check on whoever might have been hurt in the accident.
"I'm CPR certified and so is my mom (who was traveling with him), so we turned around. And when we got back here, I saw him laying on the ground," he said.
However, Jones said the man was conscious so instead of performing CPR, "I just made sure they didn't move him, because I know that's the worse thing you can do."
Trooper Cody Rehder investigated the accident. Also responding were the Woodward County Sheriff's Office, Woodward Fire and rescue and Woodward County EMS. The accident happened around 4:45 p.m. on Friday.