Communities mourn loss
A Union City eighth-grader was killed Jan. 17, when the car he was riding in left the road and rolled over into a field.
Preston Williams, 13, was riding in the passenger seat of a car traveling south on Evans Road, just south of state Highway 152, said Capt. Robert Ague of the Union City Police Department. The accident happened at about 4:18 p.m., he said.
“The vehicle lost control and slid off the roadway into the ditch,” Ague said. “The vehicle rolled approximately four times, coming to rest in a wheat field.”
Evans Road is gravel, and it was not known whether that contributed to the accident, Ague said. Police speculated the 16-year-old driver and Williams were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, although that had not been conclusively determined, investigators said.
Both Williams and the driver were thrown from the vehicle, investigators said. A second passenger was riding in the back seat and was released from the hospital after being treated, Ague said.
“The back-seat passenger refused treatment at the scene and was transported by a family member to a hospital for evaluation,” Ague said.
The driver was taken to OU Medical Center by ambulance and was also released shortly afterward, Ague said. Police were still investigating the accident.
Williams attended Union City Schools, where he played second base on the baseball team and was a member of the basketball squad, said Ludy Griggs, Union City Schools athletic director and baseball coach. Williams’ teammates and other UC baseball players would pay homage to their friend throughout this year’s athletic seasons, Griggs said.
“We will start every game this spring without a second baseman until the first out, and the basketball teams will wear neon socks in Preston’s honor,” he said.
Neon was Williams’ favorite color, Griggs said.
Union City Superintendent Todd Carel said school would be canceled Wednesday, to allow students the opportunity to attend Williams’ funeral.
“We are profoundly saddened by his death,” Carel said. “Guidance counselors will be on hand to help students and teachers cope with this tragic loss.”
Union City activities were canceled Friday night, after word of the accident made its way to school officials. On Sunday, residents from Union City and neighboring communities gathered in Union City for a candlelight vigil to remember the young student.
A fund – the Preston Williams Memorial Fund – has been set up for Williams’ family at Mustang McNeil’s Funeral Service. Donations may be made to McNeil’s at P.O. Box 1616, Mustang, Okla. 73064.