YALE – As the holiday season begins, a Stillwater family is grieving the loss of a grandfather and a daughter and the critical injury of a mother following a deadly collision that occurred on Wednesday afternoon near Yale.
Shelayna Renea Knott, 28, of Orlando, and her grandfather Floyd Margason Jr., 77, of Stillwater died when a stolen pickup driven at high speed by a man trying to elude police ran a stop sign at State Highway 51 and Norfolk road and struck the SUV carrying four generations of their family.
Knott’s mother, Michelle Renea Clary, 55, of Stillwater, was driving when the pickup slammed into the driver’s side of her SUV. Clary was transported to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, where she was admitted in critical condition.
Knott’s 4-year-old son was transported by ambulance to Hillcrest Hospital Cushing, where he was treated and released.
Knott, formerly Shelayna Clary, was a 2009 graduate of Stillwater High School who had recently been named Teacher of the Year at Ida Freeman elementary school in Edmond. She leaves behind a husband and young son.
A Gofundme account has been started to help the family with expenses.
The pickup’s driver, Tommy Leroy McClendon, 23, of Drumright, was not injured in the collision. His passenger, Alexis Taber, 18, also of Drumright, suffered multiple injuries when she was ejected from the vehicle. Taber was transported by air ambulance to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, where she was admitted in critical condition.
McClendon fled on foot and a manhunt ensued. He was captured Wednesday evening after hiding in a nearby wooded area for hours.
An officer told KFOR TV that McClendon began yelling for help after he started getting cold.
The collision is still under investigation by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Traffic Homicide Unit, but OHP Trooper Shane Ballard stated in a preliminary release that McClendon was under the influence of drugs. He was arrested and booked into the Payne County jail on two complaints each of first-degree murder and causing great bodily injury in an accident without a valid driver’s license, according to the Tulsa World.
In her memory:
A public Facebook group called Shelayna’s Memories has been started for friends and family to share their thoughts and feelings as they deal with the death of Shelayna Knott.
A GoFundMe account has been started to help Knott’s husband David and son Riddick with expenses.