Jury trial waived in deadly Canadian County crash case

Judge Hesse on Nov. 16 will sentence Stillwater man

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By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

EL RENO – A Stillwater man charged in a deadly drunk driving crash just east of Yukon has waived his right to a jury trial.

Tristan Lee Gaskey, 25, was charged April 1, 2020, in Canadian County District Court with first-degree manslaughter. The felony crime is punishable by not less than four years in prison.

Prosecutors allege Gaskey killed the operator of a street sweeper after running a red light and causing the fatal traffic collision at the intersection of State Highway 66 and the Kilpatrick Turnpike.

Oklahoma City Police investigated the crash that occurred about 1:30 a.m. Oct. 26, 2019.

A jury trial had been set for Sept. 13 before Canadian County District Judge Paul Hesse.

Gaskey, represented by Oklahoma City attorney Mark Henricksen, announced at an Aug. 24 court hearing that he wanted to waive his right to the jury trial.

Judge Hesse accepted the defendant’s waiver after finding it was “knowingly and voluntarily made,” according to the court minute.

Gaskey signed a written waiver of jury trial. Plea and sentencing have been set for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 16 before Judge Hesse.

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FAILED TO YIELD, BAC REGISTERED .15

Allegations against the defendant are detailed in a probable cause affidavit signed by Oklahoma City Police Sgt. Robert Atkins.

Gaskey was driving a 2013 Chevrolet 3500 dually pickup while under the influence of alcohol when he crashed into a 2016 Isuzu street sweeper driven by Midwest City’s Craig William Caldwell.

Gaskey was southbound on the Kilpatrick Turnpike exit ramp at SH-66 and Caldwell was eastbound in the left lane of SH-66 at the turnpike exit ramp.

“According to witnesses, the defendant goes through the red light colliding with the victim’s vehicle causing it to then collide with a signal light pole and catching fire,” Sgt. Atkins wrote in the affidavit.

Caldwell, 56, died from injuries sustained in the crash.

Gaskey admitted to drinking alcohol and voluntarily submitted to a blood test, according to the court document.

The defendant’s blood alcohol content was .15, an Oklahoma City Police traffic collision report shows.

Investigator Atkins determined the crash was caused by Gaskey’s failure to yield from a signal light, according to the report.

Gaskey sustained head, trunk, arm, and leg injuries and was taken by EMSA ambulance to OU Medical Center. Caldwell died at the scene from his injuries.

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