(Stillwater) — A Cushing man has been ordered to appear in court March 23 for a preliminary hearing on a charge alleging that he was drunk driving in a one-vehicle crash northeast of Cushing in which his passenger was killed.

Richard Raymond Robbins, 41, who appeared in court last week, could receive four years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree manslaughter in the fatal accident. He remains free on $5,000 bond.

His passenger, Elizabeth Ann Lewis, 37, of Cushing, was pronounced dead at the scene from head injuries in the June 13, 2008, crash of a Ford Explorer that occurred about 11:45 p.m. on Linwood and Deep Rock Road, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.

Robbins allegedly admitted to having consumed at least nine cans of beer prior to the collision, according to an affidavit by OHP Trooper Randy Clark. Robbins was exceeding the speed limit, by traveling at least 55 mph in a 45 mph zone, the affidavit alleged.

“Robbins stated as he approached the intersection that for no reason, Lewis started hitting him in the chest area,” the affidavit said.

The trooper determined “the most logical explanation concerning Lewis hitting Robbins was that Lewis was attempting to warn Robbins of the approaching curve in the road,” the affidavit said.

“During the interview of Robbins, he stated that he and Lewis had not been fighting or arguing,” the affidavit said.

“Robbins then utilized braking action and skid into a grassy island area where the Ford Explorer struck a protruding pipe.

“The vehicle then continued to skid across the grassy island, causing the vehicle to enter into a broad slide.

“The vehicle then entered onto Deep Rock Road where the right side tires dug into the dirt and gravel surface, causing the vehicle to overturn 3/4 times.

Members of the Cushing Fire Department, who made an immediate response to the collision scene, along with Troopers Kevin Duncan and Brandon Harmon, “can testify that Robbins had an odor of alcohol about his person and appeared to be intoxicated,” the affidavit said.

The trooper said that he also detected an odor of alcohol on Robbins about an hour after the collision when he interviewed him, the affidavit said.

The passenger’s fatal head injury was believed to have occurred as the vehicle overturned, the affidavit said.