Separate accidents claim the lives of two county men

Two men were killed Wednesday afternoon in separate motorcycle accidents that occurred at about the same time. One accident was south of Hodgen and the other in Poteau. A Heavener man was killed in a motorcycle accident Wednesday afternoon when another vehicle struck him. Rick Ford, 56, of Heavener, was driving a 2007 Yamaha Motorcycle north on U.S. Highway 59 near Stapp Zoe at about 5:15 p.m. when the accident occurred. According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol accident report, Colton Gregerson, 21, of Geary, Okla., was driving a 1988 Chevy pickup south on U.S. Highway 59 when he attempted to turn left onto a county road. Gregerson struck Ford who was thrown from the motorcycle and critically injured. Ford was to be flown by a Tulsa Life Flight medical helicopter to a Tulsa hospital but during the flight TLF diverted to a Muskogee hospital where Ford succumbed to his injuries, according to emergency personnel. Ford had recently been named Deputy Warden at the Jim Hamilton Correctional Facility in Hodgen. Gregeson was uninjured in the accident. In the second accident, Billy Caldwell, 55, of Poteau lost his life. Caldwell was driving a Honda Goldwing south on North Broadway in front of Taco Mayo when a Chevy pickup driven by Regina Jo Snyder, 54, of Poteau pulled out in front of him from Paul Mathies Drive. Caldwell suffered multiple injuries in the collision and was taken by LeFlore County EMS to Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center. He was later flown by medical helicopter to a Tulsa hospital where he died of his injuries. Snyder and her two passengers were uninjured in the accident.