By Conrad Dudderar
Family and friends are seeking justice for an Elk City teen killed in a drunk driving crash near the Kilpatrick Turnpike in Yukon.
Lacey Jo Martin, 16, died Nov. 10, 2021, about two weeks after the car she was riding in was struck by a vehicle driven by a Yukon woman who was allegedly under the influence.
The three-vehicle traffic collision occurred at 11:22 p.m. Oct. 29 on Highway 66 and Sara Road off the Kilpatrick Turnpike.
The Facebook page “Justice4LaceyJo” has been launched to honor Lacey’s memory while helping her mother Stacy Grizzell cover funeral-related costs.
“Lacey would have turned 17 on January 6th,” Grizzell said. “I won’t get to see her graduate or anything.
“I have five children and she’s my youngest daughter. She was the last (child) I had at home. So, it’s been really difficult for me. She’s the spitting image of me, too.”
The grieving mother described Lacey as bubbly, ornery and a jokester. Her daughter had a “real, real big heart” and was very mature for her age.
Lacey – a 10th grader at Epic Online School – was in Oklahoma City late last October spending time with friends.
She was heading back to Elk City on Oct. 29 with her brother and brother’s girlfriend when the crash occurred on Yukon’s east side.
“It had been a few days since I’d seen her and I started missing her,” Grizzell said. “On their way home was when they were hit by a drunk driver.”
Yukon’s Cassandra Ann Bray, 40, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence. She was taken to Oklahoma City Police headquarters for a breath test which showed her blood alcohol content was .12, according to a police report.
Bray was booked into the Canadian County Jail for causing a DUI injury accident. She posted bond and was released from custody before Lacey died after two weeks in the intensive care unit at OU Medical Center.
Lacey was a back-seat passenger in a 2013 Chevy Cruze driven by Elk City’s Tiffany Ann Cook that was struck by Bray’s 2017 Ford Edge.
Bray was driving westbound in the inside lane of Hwy 66 at a “high rate of speed” while intoxicated, according to the Oklahoma City police report.
Bray failed to react to her “closing rate” on the westbound Chevy Cruze “until right before impact,” officer Jeffrey Hauck’s report indicates.
The Yukon woman tried to swerve right but the driver’s side front of her Ford Edge impacted with the Chevy Cruze’s passenger side rear.
The vehicle crossed the center median and entered the eastbound Hwy 66 inside lane where it collided with a 2006 Mitsubishi Galant driven by an Oklahoma City teen.
The Chevy Cruze flipped onto its driver’s side before coming to a rest, partially in the grass median and partially in the eastbound Hwy 66 inside lane.
Several other people sustained injuries – some severe – in the Oct. 29th traffic collision.
FORMAL CHARGES PENDING
The Canadian County District Attorney’s Office is considering filing formal criminal charges against Bray for causing the crash that killed Lacey.
“We want to get justice for Lacey,” Grizzell said. “We’ve been trying to do whatever we can – as much as we can – so nobody forgets.
“My family also is working on getting a cross made where the crash site was to have a memorial out there for her.”
Lacey had a promising career ahead after graduating high school, her mother explained.
“We could always see her moving to a big city and doing fashion, make-up or some kind of design,” she said.
Grizzell wants to see an appropriate punishment for the Yukon woman who allegedly caused her teenage daughter’s untimely death.
“Some days I despise this woman, and other days I don’t,” Lacey’s mother shared. “I don’t hold no hate … there’s no room for it.”
Bray made a choice when she decided to drive that night, Grizzell added.
“And she made a bad choice,” she said. “But I’ve ‘been there, done that’. And I know people that’s ‘been there, done that’.
“She took my daughter away from me forever. … I do believe she does need to go to prison to learn her lesson because it’s serious. But she doesn’t need to spend the rest of her life in prison. I’m not even hating the woman. I just want justice for my daughter.”
Anyone who wants to support Lacey’s mother should visit the “Justice4LaceyJo” Facebook page.
“We’re selling hoodies, T-shirts, bracelets, and ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’ car decals trying to raise awareness and keep her memory alive,” Grizzell said. “All the money goes to pay off the rest of Lacey’s funeral expenses and for her to get a headstone.”
Lacey’s mother hopes anyone reading this will think twice before getting behind the wheel drunk.
“Call a friend. Call or taxi. Call an Uber,” Grizzell emphasized. “There’s some way around this. It’s not worth that person’s life nor taking a loved one from a family.”