Department of Public Safety Troopers are working to investigate a crash and manhunt that tied up dozens of Texoma Law Enforcement Officers for nearly 5 hours Friday.
Just before 8:00am, Troopers were called to Archer City Highway near Lakeside City. They found a pickup wrecked in a creek bed, but the driver was nowhere to be found. Trooper Greg Sullivan said that's what prompted the search. "We don't know if he was disoriented or if he left for a specific reason ... the terrain around the creek is solid trees, tall grass, briars its very rough terrain for someone that's not injured to make their way through, much less someone that has just been involved in a traffic crash"
Area residents Terry and Kevin Ondechek say they didn't even hear the crash. "We left about 8:30 or 9:00am went out to run some errands and seen them pulling the truck out of the ditch and when we came back, we came back to see a circus out here!", said Kevin. The search centered around their home. "Next thing you know, they're following the dogs back into my back yard."
Scent-specific dogs from the Allred Unit were called out to help find the victim. Around 1:00pm, a Bloodhound named "BB" got on the track. Her handler, Allred Corrections Officer Jim Lowe, said conditions were favorable for the search. "The wind was blowing just right, and it was blowing in our face, and she winded him and went right to him from about 50 yards."
Dustin Wiest of Buyers was found hurt but coherent. Crews rushed him to United Regional Hospital.
Trooper Greg Sullivan says questions remain and the investigation continues into what - if any - charges Wiest could face. "Were still looking at what we found in the vehicle and what we found in the area charges will be pending depending on what we find at the hospital... around the vehicle there were some alcohol containers found and were not saying he was (under the influence) but were not going to rule it out either."