Tishomingo crash: Community mourns Gracie Machado, Brooklyn Triplett, Austin Holt, Madison Robertson, Addison Gratz and Memory Wilson
The six teenage girls who were killed after their car collided with a semi-truck on a highway in Oklahoma on Tuesday, March 22, have been identified. The victims were identified as Gracie Machado, Brooklyn Triplett, Austin Holt, Madison Robertson, Addison Gratz and Memory Wilson. Meanwhile, the girls were mourned by the community of Tishomingo, including country star Blake Shelton.
The six girls were all students of Tishomingo Public School, according to the district's superintendent. The teenage girls were packed into a small 2015 Chevy Spark with just 4 seats, and only the two girls in the front seat were wearing seatbelts, the Okhlahoma Highway Patrol said. According to the OHP report, four of the girls were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The other two girls died after being transported to the hospital.
The driver of the truck has been identified as Valendon Burton, 51, who the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said was uninjured following the collision as he was wearing a seatbelt. Burton, who is a volunteer firefighter, recently posted that he was praying for a speedy resolution of the Ukraine conflict. No criminal charges have been filed, OHP spokeswoman Sarah Stewart said.
Friends and family members of the victims paid tribute to the girls. Gracie's sister Sadie Machado posted a photo on Facebook of herself with Gracie with the caption, "My bestfriend" alongside a broken heart emoji. Brooklyn was an "amazing kid" and "one hell of a soft ball player," according to GoFundMe. Austin was active in Future Farmers of America and enjoyed showing off her prize hogs, the Mail reported.
Country music star Blake Shelton, who is originally from Tishamingo, issued a statement saying: "In the wake of yesterday's unthinkable crash in our small town of Tishamingo, we as a community have all been in shock and broken hearted." Blake added, "I personally have known the devastation of suddenly losing a loved one in a car accident. But our community is strong and has come together to support and wrap our arms around the families and friends that are hurting the most."
OHP issued a statement on Wednesday, March 23 saying, "Our Traffic Homicide Unit is conducting a thorough investigation that could last weeks.. Any loss of life is tragic and we will continue to thoroughly investigate. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families involved and the entire community."
The Oklahoma crash came one week after nine people died, including six college students and their coach, in a Texas crash where a 13-year-old boy was driving the pickup truck involved in the collision.