Police identify girl killed by alleged 'drunk driver' in Oklahoma

Posted: Updated:
Rhindi Kay Isaacs Rhindi Kay Isaacs
John Tallbear John Tallbear

Authorities have identified an Oklahoma junior high student who was killed when after a school bus carrying a middle school softball team collided head-on with an SUV allegedly driven by a drunk driver.

The Seminole Police Department said 12-year-old Rhindi Kay Isaacs was killed. The man driving the SUV, tentatively identified as John Tallbear, and his female passenger also died. 

The accident happened late Friday near Bowlegs, Oklahoma, at U.S. 377 in Seminole County, about an hour southeast of Oklahoma City, as the bus, carrying six girls and their softball coach from Konawa Junior High School, crossed the Little River bridge.

"...they were hit head on by a drunk driver," said the school's Superintendent Cory Ellis in a statement released on Saturday.

The bus was traveling southbound at just after 7:15 p.m. when the SUV had pulled into the southbound lane to pass another car and the two vehicles slammed into each other head on, according to a preliminary investigation by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

"It is absolutely devastating for our community and especially the family," Konawa High School principal Karis Reavis said. "They had played Okemah [a town one hour northeast of Konowa] and were returning to Konowa."

A funeral for Isaacs will be held Friday.

KOCO reports Tallbear was charged last week with driving under the influence in Pottawatomie County. He had been convicted of DUI twice, once in the 1980s and once in the early 1990s. In June 2018, he was exonerated after spending 26 years in prison for first-degree murder.

Troopers were still working to identify the passenger in the SUV.

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