Tow truck driver dies tragically in Wagoner County accident: ‘We lost another great one’


By John Dobberstein, Editor

A Muskogee man was killed Saturday when he was struck by a vehicle on U.S. 69 near Wagoner.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said John Mills, 31, was standing on the shoulder of the highway, loading a car onto a wrecker, at 6:43 p.m. when he was struck by another vehicle going south on the highway in the right-hand lane.

Mills was pronounced at the scene by EMS personnel from massive injuries. The accident happened just south of County Road 750.

The car that struck Mills was driven by 76-year-old Robert Marshall of Redbird. OHP said Marshall’s vehicle rolled after “an undetermined number of times, coming to rest on its top.” Marshall was pinned for 17 minutes before being freed by members of Wagoner Fire Department using extrication equipment.

Red Beard Towing, where Mills worked, discussed Mills’ death on its Facebook page.

“There are not sufficient words to express the heartbreak we feel. John was an integral part of our team. He treated our customers with respect, had a willingness to help anyone who needed it, and always operated safely,” the post said.

“John will be missed, not only by us, but by his friends and loving family. We ask that you please keep his loved ones in your prayers, and respect their privacy at this time while they navigate this tremendous loss.”
The company added, “We implore the community to remember to move over for emergency vehicles. Not only is it the law, but it could prevent another loss as heartbreaking as this.
We will honor John as he will always be a part of our family. The tow community has lost another great one.”

Marshall was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Muskogee, where he was treated and released for a head injury.

It was raining and the roads were wet during the accident but the cause is still under investigation, Troopers said.

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