Fairfax woman charged in year-old fatal crash

Robert Smith
Kelly D. Roberts

A Fairfax woman has been charged in Osage County District Court in connection with an October 2018 traffic fatality on State Highway 18. A court record shows two charges — first-degree manslaughter, and negligent homicide-motor vehicle.

Kelly Dianne Roberts, 56, of Fairfax was involved in a collision Oct. 26, 2018, when the red 2007 Pontiac sedan she was driving reportedly crossed the center line of SH 18 and hit a Mack tanker truck near the junction of SH 18 and Fairfax Lake Road, according to a case affidavit developed by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol accident reconstructionist.

One of Roberts’ passengers at the time of the collision, a man identified as Jeffery Lunsford, died as a result of the accident. Roberts reportedly said she reached for a drink container right before her car, which was southbound, left the roadway and entered a ditch on the west side of SH18, according to the trooper’s affidavit. She attempted to correct the vehicle and re-enter the roadway, and ended up hitting a northbound tanker truck, the affidavit explains.

The Highway Patrol accident reconstructionist went on to offer the court the view that Roberts failed in her legal duty to devote her full time and attention to driving and caused the sequence of events that resulted in Lunsford’s fatal injuries.

The accident reconstructionist concluded that Roberts had been driving near the posted speed limit, and the affidavit contains information about two prescription drugs that reportedly were in Roberts’ blood, but which were not linked to the accident.

In a hearing Oct. 16 in Osage County District Court, the court entered a not guilty plea for Roberts and set her bail at $5,000. A status conference in the case was set for Oct. 31.