By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Drumright man was charged today with two counts of first-degree murder in a fatal crash on the day before Thanksgiving at 2:09 p.m. on Highway 51 west of Yale that took the lives of two family members and critically injured two others, court records show.
Tommy Leroy McClendon Jr., 24, suspected of being on drugs, was driving northbound in a pickup truck and attempting to elude a Yale police officer when he failed to yield at a stop sign on Norfolk Road and crashed into the driver’s side of a Honda Passport traveling west on Highway 51, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Shayne Ballard of the traffic homicide unit alleged in an accident report.
McClendon was scheduled to be arraigned on the murder charges this afternoon from the Payne County Jail, court records show.
The Honda driver, Michelle Renea Clary, 55, of Stillwater, was transported by Life Net to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa in critical condition with multiple injuries, the report said.
Two passengers in the Honda, Floyd Margason Jr., 77, of Stillwater, who was ejected, and Shelayna Renea Knott, 28, of Orlando, both died at the scene of massive injuries, the report said. A juvenile passenger in the Honda, age 4 of Orlando, was transported by Life Net to the Cushing hospital and released after treatment, the report said.
McClendon was not injured; his passenger, Elexis Taber, 18, of Drumright, who was ejected, was transported by Air Evac to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa in critical condition with multiple injuries, the report said.
McClendon reportedly fled on foot and hid in the woods before being apprehended and eventually jailed at 10:47 p.m. that night.
Aiding in the investigation of the fatal crash were five more troopers, the Payne County Sheriff’s Office, the Yale Police Department, the Stillwater Fire Department, Air Evac and Life Net, the report said.
Only three months earlier, McClendon had been found in violation of the probation he received last year on a felony charge of attempting to elude Cushing police while driving a 2006 Dodge with an expired license tag on a suspended license on April Fool’s Day of 2018. McClendon was given a 180-day jail term, with credit for the months he had already served, court records show.
McClendon was also on felony probation for possessing a stolen 2012 Dodge truck in Cushing on Jan. 4, 2018, court records show. McClendon had also obstructed Cushing Police Officer Carson Watts on Aug. 7, 2017, by giving him a false name when he had an outstanding warrant, for which he was given a jail term last year, court records show. McClendon had also been given jail terms for passing a bogus check and petty larceny in 2016, Payne County court records show.
In Creek County, McClendon had been charged with possessing methamphetamine on March 28, 2016, when the drug was found in a container under a back passenger seat where he had been sitting during a traffic stop in Drumright, court records show. McClendon denied knowing about the container and stated it was not his, Drumright Police Officer Cory White wrote in an affidavit. “He stated that he has been clean for a week. I then asked him when was the last time he used meth; he stated a week ago,” the officer alleged in his affidavit. The felony drug charge was dismissed on the request of the prosecution on July 15, 2016, court records show.
Also in Creek County, McClendon was placed on probation for a year for breaking and entering a room at the Boomtown Inn in Drumright on Sept. 5, 2016, court records show. “Tommy told me that he used a credit card to shim the door lock and open it,” Drumright Police Officer Brian Gooch wrote in an affidavit.
Also in Creek County, McClendon was placed on probation for one year for unauthorized use of a credit card to obtain beer and a soda from a Jiffy Trip in Oilton on Oct. 11, 2016, by charging the items to a woman’s account without her permission, court records show.