By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
A truck driver charged with felony murder in a crash that killed a Yukon businessman is ready to enter a plea.
Oklahoma City’s Donald Garrett Biffle, 27, is due to appear Oct. 22 at a district court arraignment before Canadian County District Judge Jack McCurdy.
Defendant Biffle has waived his “right to a preliminary hearing” so he “might enter a plea” to charges of second-degree murder, unlawful possession of controlled dangerous substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court documents.
Biffle was charged in April for his role in a fatal traffic collision on Nov. 24, 2019 at the intersection of State Highway 66 and Banner Road.
Prosecutors allege Biffle was driving a 1996 Peterbilt tractor-trailer while under the influence of methamphetamine when he collided with Yukon’s Ray Lee Davis, who was driving a 2019 Kawasaki motorcycle.
Davis, 73, was a U.S. Navy veteran who owned a retail carpet store in Yukon.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Michael Wallace cited Biffle – who was driving north on Banner Road – for failing to yield because he ran through a stop sign at SH-66.
Davis was wearing a helmet while riding his motorcycle along SH-66, which – at the time – did not have westbound or eastbound stop signs at the Banner Road intersection.
Davis crashed into the driver’s side of the semi-truck and was pronounced dead at the scene due to blunt force trauma, according to an OHP report.
Second-degree murder is punishable by 10 years to life in prison. The defendant faces up to two more years in jail and/or fines totaling $2,000 on the drug charges.
Prosecuting the case is Assistant District Attorney Eric Epplin. The defendant is represented by public defenders.
Biffle had a previous driving under the influence conviction in Oklahoma County in November 2012, court records show.
The SH-66/Banner Road intersection has been the site of several dozen serious accidents, including several fatalities, since the early 1990s.
After the November 2019 fatal crash, temporary safety improvements were made to the intersection. It is now a four-way stop with flashing lights in all directions, with large advance warning signs and rumble strips.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation, working with Canadian County Commissioners, is considering permanent upgrades – such as installing a roundabout or new traffic signal lights.