Wife of victim in drilling rig explosion speaks out

Posted at 8:35 PM, Feb 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-14 00:03:48-05

SEMINOLE, Okla. -- A wife is breaking her silence after losing her husband, 55-year-old Roger Cunningham, in an oil rig explosion last month. 

Every day there were two things that happened in Betty Cunningham’s life, without a doubt. 

Her husband Roger would call her to say he loved her at night, and she would pray for his safety before he went to work in the morning. 

But on Jan. 22, she was in their hometown of Seminole when the unthinkable happened.

“It’s hard to explain. I mean… it’s hard to explain. He was here one moment and he’s in the presence of God the next.”

His smile still brings one to her face, even if she can only see it in pictures. 

As soon as her phone rang early that morning, she knew. 

“He just told me that there had been a blowout on the rig floor and they couldn’t get in touch with Roger.”

He’d worked in oil fields across the country for 39 years. 

“My prayer is they never saw it coming and it was in a flash…”

He and four other men were taken by the very thing they loved.

The past three weeks have had slow days and fast ones. 

The flowers from Roger’s funeral line multiple rooms. A stack of thank you cards she has yet to finish. But sometimes, she just has to take a moment. 

“I feel his presence but not being able to get his hugs is different.”

To remember the man, her high school sweetheart that she and so many others loved.

And while extra pictures are now scattered around the house, she still comes back to her favorite one, from their wedding day 12 years ago.

"My dream. Everything I ever wanted,” Betty Cunningham said.

Now, she only has memories and she wants to know why. 

"We want people to know that they can go to their work environment and be safe everyday. And know that their husbands are going to come home everyday,” Betty Cunningham said.

Oklahoma strong across her chest, her pain isn’t just for her, but her oil family. 

“I know they’re hurting as bad as me right now,” she said.

But while she patiently waits for a conclusive investigation, Betty knows she’s surrounded by angels. 

Not just in her home, but a special one looking down on her. And she knows what he’s saying.

'“I’m sorry ... this wasn’t supposed to happen. I was just doing my job, and I love you, and just keep going on,'” she said.

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