The Woodward News

September 13, 2013

Manslaughter charged filed from March traffic death

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — A 20-year-old Woodward man has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a fatal vehicle accident.

The accident, which occurred on the evening of March 22, 2013, killed 24-year-old Chandler Craig Farmer of Buffalo.

Now Kenneth Roy Crowe is facing a felony charge of 1st degree manslaughter in connection with Farmer's death.  The case was filed Tuesday in Woodward County District Court.

Crowe is also charged with a misdemeanor count of driving with a revoked license at the time of the accident.

According to information in the affidavit and the original accident report from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the 2-vehicle accident occurred approximately 2.8 miles west of Woodward on State Highway 15.

Crowe was driving a Ford F-250 pickup and hauling a pump trailer westbound on Highway 15 when one of the tires on his trailer blew out, causing him to lose control of the vehicle.  The pickup and trailer then went left of center as the semi driven by Farmer approached heading eastbound, the affidavit states.

"Just prior to impact, Mr. Crowe was able to steer the pickup back to the right of the centerline of the highway, but the pump trailer he was pulling was still on the wrong side of the road," the affidavit states.

Although there were signs that Farmer "had been braking and steering toward the shoulder ... Farmer's truck was unable to avoid colliding with the pump trailer," the affidavit states.  The semi and trailer collided "and immediately caught fire," the affidavit states.

After the fire was extinguished, OHP officials found Farmer's body in the cab of the semi, according to the affidavit.

In investigating the accident, OHP officials ran a check on Crowe's driver's license and found that it had been revoked just days prior to the accident on March 11, 2013 after the then 19-year-old Crowe had been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Feb. 2013.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Boring said Crowe is expected to turn himself in with his attorney today and the plan is for him to appear at 1:30 p.m. for arraignment.

Court records show that a civil negligence case has also been filed against Crowe by the estate of Chandler Farmer.  Also listed as a defendant in the civil case is Grady Rentals, LLC, which is listed in court records as the owner of the truck driven by Crowe at the time of the accident.

The felony case number CF-13-322, civil case number CJ-2013-77.