A witness to the motorcycle crash that killed Cobie Tyner, 18, said a Tulsa County sheriff’s deputy who was at the scene of the crash did not attempt to render medical aid to Tyner after the crash happened.
Lisa Reyna, 37, was the driver of the vehicle Tyner crashed into during the May 14 wreck on Avery Drive in west Tulsa County. Reyna is the second eyewitness to speak with The Frontier and whose account of what happened during the crash contradicts details in a report by a Tulsa County sheriff’s deputy who had just made a U-turn in the roadway when the crash occurred.
Initial information given out by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, which investigated the crash, did not state that a deputy was in the roadway at the time of the accident, and Cobie Tyner’s father, Derek Tyner, said that nearly all the emergency response and law enforcement agencies that worked the wreck denied that an officer had been involved. It was only through social media posts by witnesses to the scene that he learned about the deputy’s being there, Derek Tyner said.
“I’m concerned they’re trying to push it under the rug,” Tyner told The Frontier. “They all told me there’s no officer involved in the accident. Every one of them told us that.”
Meanwhile, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol official said Wednesday that investigators are treating the crash like any other fatality accident and that the investigation is likely to take another month to a month and a half to complete.
Since the Frontier first reported on Tuesday discrepancies between witnesses’ accounts of what happened and the deputy’s report, the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation into the deputy’s actions following the crash, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said.
“We would like them (witnesses) to reach out to us so we can try and verify their claim,” said spokeswoman Casey Roebuck.
The deputy has not been subject to disciplinary action, she said.
That Mother’s Day had been sunny and warm, and Lisa Reyna, 37, had spent it with her 15-year-old son.
That afternoon, as the two headed back home to Sand Springs along Avery Drive in Reyna’s 2017 Ford Fusion, she saw a motorcycle headed eastbound fly by them at a high rate of speed, Reyna said.
That’s when the emergency lights on the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office sports utility vehicle in front of them flipped on, Reyna said. The SUV was about three to four car lengths in front of Reyna when the deputy driving the vehicle began to make a slow U-turn in the roadway, near a curve, Reyna said.
“I thought he was going to proceed to go fast to chase after the bike, but he never did,” Reyna told The Frontier. “He didn’t even pass me going eastbound. It was really slow because he didn’t even pass me or accelerate to try to chase this bike.”
According to a report filed by the deputy driving the SUV, Andrew Titsworth, he ensured traffic around him was clear for one-third of a mile in both directions before pulling onto the shoulder and turning around to go after the motorcycle, which he clocked going 102 miles per hour. Once turned around, he reached a speed of about 35 miles per hour when he heard the loud roar of a motorcycle coming from the west, the report states.
Unable to see around the curve because of the deputy’s vehicle and a curve in the road beyond it, the oncoming motorcycle appeared in a flash, Reyna said.
“Out of nowhere, I saw out of my left eye, the bike coming out from behind the sheriff deputy’s SUV,” Reyna said. “My reaction was to slam my right hand in front of my son’s chest to protect him. I slammed on my brakes and tried to miss him and get off (the road) as much as I could. It was just so fast.”
According to Titsworth’s report, the motorcycle’s breaks were locked as it skidded past him on its front wheel, and it was traveling approximately 65 to 70 miles per hour when it crashed into Reyna’s car.
Reyna’s airbags deployed, giving her minor injuries for which she was later treated at a local hospital.
The motorcycle, a 2007 Kawasaki, was driven by Cobie Tyner, who was less than two weeks away from his 19th birthday. He died at the scene.
It was at this point that Titsworth’s and Reyna’s accounts – as well as those of other witnesses – begin to differ widely.
According to Titsworth’s report, he radioed in to dispatch to send the Fire Department and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to the scene before checking on Tyner.
“I checked the motorcycle rider for a pulse and tried to render aid,” the report states.
However, Reyna said that she did not see the deputy check for a pulse or attempt to render medical aid to Tyner.
“To me, he was just calm. He never came up to us, never came up to me or my son to make sure we were OK. He didn’t say anything to us,” Reyna told The Frontier. “I saw him stand there, look (at Tyner). He went back to his SUV (and) I saw him on the radio, and then I saw him move his SUV into the middle of the road.”
By the time the deputy had moved his vehicle to the middle of the road, a group of at least a dozen other motorcyclists that had been riding with Tyner that day came up on the scene. One of the motorcyclists told The Frontier that the other motorcyclists nearly crashed into the deputy’s vehicle when they rounded the curve.
“He (the deputy) was still half-cocked in the middle of the road with the nose of the Tahoe pointing towards the hill and the ass-end of the vehicle was still half sideways in the middle of the road,” the witness said.
Titsworth’s report states that he told the group of motorcyclists to stay at the scene, but one of the riders who was in the group told The Frontier that the deputy demanded that they leave immediately.
Reyna said she did not hear the interaction between Titsworth and the other riders because she was making sure her son was OK at the time.
Reyna said her sister arrived shortly after state troopers and medical crews were on scene. Reyna was taken to an ambulance while her son stayed with her sister. That’s when she said the deputy asked her son for his driver’s license.
“He was asking my son, who is 15 years old, asking for a driver’s license and said he was driving. But my son was not driving,” Reyna said. “My sister kept replying that he does not have a driver’s license, he doesn’t drive.”
Once at the hospital, Reyna said, she gave her version of events to troopers, and mentioned the deputy making a U-turn in her description. While at the hospital, she said, her blood was drawn to test whether she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The experience still haunts her and her son, Reyna said.
“After they told me he (Tyner) was gone, I lost it,” Reyna said. “My son said I almost collapsed and they had to catch me.”
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash, and it will likely be another 30 to 45 days before it is complete, said OHP Capt. Jason Holt.
OHP is using data from the airbag control module, witness statements and other data to reconstruct the crash, Holt said. Investigators are also waiting on a medical examiner’s report and toxicology screening. Once the investigation is complete, it will be submitted to the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office to determine if any criminal charges are warranted, he said.
Holt said the deputy’s presence was not noted on the initial crash information made public by OHP because it was unknown whether his vehicle’s presence contributed to the crash. The initial information only states that Tyner’s motorcycle “crossed the center line for an unknown reason” before striking Reyna’s car. Until the investigation is complete, the cause is still unknown, he said.
“We know, at least at this point, that he (the deputy) was a witness to the crash,” Holt said. “Will the investigation show otherwise? I can’t speak to that right now because I don’t know. He was near the scene of the collision when it occurred. When we get done with the investigation it will determine where he was exactly when the crash happened and all of the factors that led up to the crash.”
Had it been a civilian vehicle instead of a law enforcement vehicle at the scene of the crash, troopers still would not have included it in the initial information released if its role in the collision was unknown, Holt said.
“We are completely 100 percent treating this investigation like we do any other fatality investigation,” Holt said.
Holt said Titsworth gave a statement to investigators separate from the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office report he filed later.
However, Holt said he was unaware that there were conflicting descriptions of what happened until seeing a report Tuesday night by KOTV, which partnered with The Frontier for the story.
“The conflict of stories I just saw last night on Channel 6 myself,” Holt said. “That’s one of the questions we will ask the witnesses when we find them. We will get to the bottom of that.”
Mona and Derek Tyner pick through the photos taken throughout the short life of their son Cobie spread out on the dining room table of their Oakhurst home.
There are photos of Cobie as a child with friends and family, of him working on child-sized electric vehicles, and of him with his first bike.
Cobie had been working as a motorcycle mechanic at Synergy Motorworks for about a year, they said. Riding and working on motorcycles was in Cobie’s blood from a young age, they said.
“He could ride a bicycle when he was 3 years old without training wheels,” Mona Tyner said. “When he first rode a bicycle with the training wheels on, he rode around the driveway and said, ‘Mommy, take those things off.’ We took them off and he rode.”
While most kids his age enjoyed playing video games inside, Cobie liked the outdoors, Derek Tyner said.
“He played video games for a little while,” Tyner said. “One day he walked in the living room and said, ‘I’m going to be an outside kid today.’ And he went outside and was outside every day after that.”
Derek and Mona Tyner both said their son was a fun person to be around, knew how to make people laugh, and was able to easily make friends.
“I’ve gotten cards every day but two days in the last four weeks from friends, family, and even people who just met him once,” Mona said. “He was one of those kids who could talk to anybody. He could make you smile.”
Mona Tyner pulls a video of Cobie up on her phone. The video, taken by a family member, shows Cobie recalling the time he was having dinner with his family at a restaurant, when he decided to lick the table as a joke – something that seemed to distress his father at the time, but was met with peals of laughter by those he was telling the story to.
“It wasn’t at the house. It was at a restaurant,” Derek Tyner said, trying in vain to hold back a smile as he watched the video. “I was trying to explain to him ‘Boy, don’t lick stuff off the table.’
“That’s the way he was – nothing phased him.”
Mona Tyner said when she bought Cobie his first phone, he took her phone because he wanted to enter in his new phone number in her contacts list. Cobie entered his phone number as “My Boy,” which his mother always called him.
Mona Tyner said that on her phone’s list of most frequently called numbers, “My Boy” was second only to her husband’s number.
Since Cobie’s death, it has begun to slowly drop on that list, she said. And she knows it will continue to fall as time moves on.
“That was his contact,” Mona Tyner said, looking longingly at her phone. “I know he’s going to slowly go off the list, because I can’t talk to him anymore.”