By Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Cushing man accused of driving under the influence of drugs during a one-vehicle crash into a bridge support at Jardot Rd. and Airport Rd. in rural Stillwater, which killed his passenger, has avoided a jury trial in January by pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter.
Because he does not have an agreement with the prosecution regarding his penalty, Dustin Lee Stokes, 41, could be given a prison term ranging from 10 years to life at his sentencing on Jan. 26 before District Judge Phillip Corley, who ordered that he be held without bail.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Joshua Byrd, who is a traffic homicide investigator, wrote in an affidavit that the fatal collision occurred at 8:50 am on March 2, 2022, when a 2011 Chevy Silverado driven by Stokes northbound on Jardot Road crashed into a concrete bridge rail about 3/10 mile south of Airport Road, 12 feet east of Stillwater.
“The Chevy departed the roadway to the right and struck the bridge rail. After impact the Chevy ceased forward motion and rotated clockwise approximately 45 degrees and came to rest, the affidavit said.
Stokes’ front-seat passenger, Valerie Sue Crawford of Stillwater, was not restrained by a seat belt at the time of the collision and died after striking the windshield with the top and back of her head, the affidavit said. “She was pronounced dead at the collision scene by attending paramedics,” the affidavit said.
“Stokes was transported via ambulance to Stillwater Medical Center for treatment,” where OHP Lt. Alan Young and Stillwater Police Sgt. William Cuck, a drug recognition expert, met him, the affidavit said.
“Lt. Young and Sgt. Cluck saw Stokes having difficulty staying awake and appeared to be ‘on the nod,"” the affidavit said.
After Stokes consented to a blood test and said he understood his rights, “Sgt. Cluck interviewed Stokes, and Stokes admitted to ingesting two 1 milligram Klonopins, smoking a couple joints of marijuana, and using some meth that morning,” the affidavit said.
Test results from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation laboratory revealed that Stokes’ blood contained amphetamine, methamphetamine, hydroxy-THC, THCA and THC, the affidavit said.
Stokes’ driver’s license was suspended, the affidavit said.
At the time of the fatal collision, Stokes was on eight years’ probation for possessing methamphetamine in Pawnee and five years’ probation for being a felon in possession of a firearm, both occurring in 2016, in concurrent sentences imposed in 2017, court records show.
Stokes had also been convicted of possessing stolen property in Stillwater in 2008, for which he was placed on five years’ probation in 2010, court records show.