OHP: Driver who struck, killed ODOT worker had drugs in system

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - A 19-year-old Sperry man accused in the highway death of an Oklahoma Department of Transportation worker in November appeared in Washington County District Court Monday.

Deven Ray Franklin was arrested Friday on a warrant on charges of first-degree manslaughter, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

In court on Monday, the judge set Franklin's bond to $250,000 and ordered him to return to court on April 13.

Franklin is accused of killing 42-year-old Ira Lee Henderson on Nov. 30 as Henderson was working on U.S. Highway 75 near Ramona.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, at around 8:30 a.m. Franklin's southbound 2003 Pontiac Grand Am crossed the southbound lane divider line and struck Henderson who was working in a construction zone. He then struck another vehicle before coming to rest in the outside lanes of the highway.

Henderson died at the scene of the accident — his death due to "multiple blunt force injuries," according to the medical examiner's office which performed an autopsy the same day.

A test performed on a blood sample taken from Franklin within an hour of the accident showed traces of THC in his blood, indicating Franklin had been under the influence of marijuana, impairing his "ability to safely drive a motor vehicle," according to the probable cause affidavit.

The report said additionally the trooper at the scene found a wooden box between the driver's seat and center console bearing marijuana and, underneath the car, a smoking pipe.

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