Blake Shelton prayers teen girls killed Toshimingo Oklahoma car crash

Country music superstar Blake Shelton is speaking out this week to call for prayers and pay tribute to six teenage girls who were killed in a horrifying car crash on Tuesday in his hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma. 

Blake Shelton: ‘Keep The Prayers Coming’

“In the wake of yesterday’s unthinkable crash in our small town of Tishomingo, we as a community have all been in shock and broken-hearted,” Shelton told People Magazine. The country artist has long owned a 1,300 acre ranch in Tishomingo, where he spends a lot of his time with wife Gwen Stefani and her three sons from a previous marriage. 

“I personally know the devastation of suddenly losing a loved one in a car accident,” he added. “But our community is strong and has come together to support and wrap our arms around the families and friends that are hurting the most.”

 

“There’s no question it will take a long time to heal from this tragedy,” Shelton concluded. “Keep the prayers coming.”

Blake Shelton was referring to the fact that his older brother Randy was killed in a car crash at the age of 24 back in 1990. The “God’s Country” singer still mourns his brother’s loss to this day.

Related: Blake Shelton Reveals How His Own Father Inspired Him To Be A Better Stepdad To Gwen Stefani’s Three Sons

Horrifying Car Crash In Tishomingo

The six girls were on their lunch break from Tishomingo High School when they were killed after their car collided with a semi truck at a “dangerous” intersection in town.

Daily Mail reported that each of the girls were between the ages of 15 and 17, and they have been identified as Gracie Machado, Brooklyn Triplett, Austin Holt, Madison Robertson, Addison Gratz and Memory Wilson.

The truck driver has been identified as 51 year-old rock hauler Valendon Burton, who survived the crash after his semi hit the teenage girls’ vehicle as it tried to turn across his lane and onto U.S. Highway 377.

The accident does not appear to have been his fault, though that will likely do little to ease his conscience in the years to come following this unspeakable tragedy that claimed six young lives. 

More on this tragic crash in the video below.

Locals Say Intersection Has Always Been ‘Very Dangerous’ 

Locals told KFOR that this intersection has been an issue for many years, as it is easy for drivers to pull out into oncoming traffic. 

“Over the course of the last 50 years that I’ve been here, it’s always been a situation where you can’t see left and right,” said local resident Brad Sneed, who has lived in the area since 1972. 

“That intersection [that the girls were killed at] is known as the ‘Y’. [It’s] very dangerous and very easy to accidentally pull out in front of oncoming traffic,” he added, going on to say that the state’s Department of Transportation is responsible for this. 

Officials with the Oklahoma DOT responded by saying, “The agency extends its condolences to the families and the entire Tishomingo community affected by the devastating loss. Any loss of life due to a crash is a tragedy, and ODOT is committed to constantly evaluating and improving the highway system for safety.”

Sneed is hoping that this tragedy will force the ODOT to finally take action. 

“Something like this that finally got enough attention that maybe they could fix it,” he said. “Things need to change so it’s a clear intersection.”

In the end, there really are no words to say in the face of tragedies of this magnitude. Blake Shelton has his priorities right when he calls for prayers. All we can do is pray for the families of these young girls who were taken far too soon, and for the people of Tishomingo as they grieve this loss. 

Read next: Blake Shelton Explains How Gwen Stefani Led Him To Believe In God

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