Judge upholds sentence in fatal drunk driving crash

State prisoner returns to Canadian County for judicial review

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Tristan Lee Gaskey

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

EL RENO – A Canadian County judge has refused to reduce the sentence of a state prisoner convicted last fall of causing a deadly drunk driving crash just east of Yukon.

A judicial review hearing for Tristan Lee Gaskey, 26, was Nov. 8 in Canadian County District Court.

Gaskey was convicted Nov. 16, 2021, after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter for his role in a fatal traffic collision more than two years earlier at State Highway 66 and the Kilpatrick Turnpike.

Canadian County District Judge Paul Hesse

Canadian County District Judge Paul Hesse sentenced Gaskey to 20 years in state Department of Corrections’ custody, with the first eight years in prison and 12 years suspended.

The convicted felon is serving that sentence at the Mack Alford Correctional Center in Stringtown.

Canadian County sheriff’s deputies recently brought him back to the Canadian County Jail for the Nov. 8th judicial review hearing.

Gaskey appeared with his attorney Mark Henricksen on the defendant’s application for a one-year review that had been filed Sept. 14.

“The defendant has learned the lesson of a substantial loss of freedom,” attorney Henricksen wrote in the motion. “He had already learned the lesson of the consequences of drunk driving. He pledges that he will live a law-abiding life and will never subject himself to the possibility of further incarceration.”

Gaskey has had “no write-ups or infractions” of DOC rules while in prison and entered the system with no criminal history, according to the court document.

After receiving testimony at the Nov. 8th court hearing, Judge Hesse denied modification of Gaskey’s sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Colleen Galaviz represented the prosecution at the hearing.

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KILLED STREET SWEEPER OPERATOR

Gaskey, formerly of Pawnee and Stillwater, killed the operator of a street sweeper after running the red light at the SH-66/Kilpatrick Turnpike intersection.

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

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.

Witnesses told police investigators that Gaskey went through the red light and collided with the street sweeper, causing it to then strike a signal light pole and catch fire.

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

Gaskey admitted to drinking alcohol and voluntarily submitted to a blood test, according to a probable cause affidavit.

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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