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Teen driver who was killed along with five friends by oncoming truck had cannabis in her system


A 16 year-old girl who died in a crash with five schoolfriends after failing to yield to an oncoming truck had cannabis in her system, a National Transportation Safety Board review found.

Madison Robertson also broke the law by driving on an intermediate driver’s license without the supervision of an a fully-qualified driver aged 21 or older, the preliminary report concluded Thursday.

The youngster, from Tishomingo in Oklahoma, had five friends in her 2015 Chevy Spark when she failed to yield for a truck being driven by Valendon Burton, 51, at a notorious junction on March 22. 

That vehicle plowed into the car – which was only supposed to hold four passengers – killing Robertson and friends Gracie Machado, Brooklyn Triplett and Austin Holt, all 15.

Also killed were Addison Gratz and Memory Wilson, both of whom were 17.

Thursday’s preliminary report said there were no traces of alcohol in Robertson’s system. Medicinal cannabis is legal in Oklahoma, but only for people aged over 18 who apply for a license to receive it.

Burton was found to have neither drugs nor alcohol in his system, and hasn’t faced any charges. 

‘Post-crash toxicology reports indicated that the car driver was negative for alcohol and positive for cannabis, and the combination [truck] vehicle driver was negative for alcohol and other drugs,’ NTSB officials said. 

‘According to the state of Oklahoma’s Graduated Driver License requirements, a driver who is issued an intermediate license may carry only one non-household passenger in the vehicle unless accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years old,’ the agency added.

Madison Robertson, 16, (pictured) had cannabis in her system when she failed to yield to an oncoming truck on March 22, killing her and her five friends, NTSB reported 

Brooklyn Triplett

Gracie Machado

Robertson friends (top-left, clockwise): Addison Gratz, Austin Holt, Memory Wilson, Gracie Machado and Brooklyn Triplett all died in the crash. NTBS said Robertson had broken the law by driving without the supervision of a licensed driver 21 or older

Pictured, Robertson's 2015 Chevrolet Spark lying on the side of the road, totaled, following the horrible crash

Pictured, Robertson’s 2015 Chevrolet Spark lying on the side of the road, totaled, following the horrible crash

NTSB and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol concluded that Robertson failed to yield at a stop sign on the Oklahoma 22 highway, causing the truck to slam into the car

NTSB and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol concluded that Robertson failed to yield at a stop sign on the Oklahoma 22 highway, causing the truck to slam into the car

The agency’s preliminary report appears to vindicate the truck driver, Valendon Burton, 51, a local rock hauler, who was not injured in the horrific crash. 

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) said the girls’ vehicle was traveling eastbound on Oklahoma 22 and stopped at a stop sign at the intersection of U.S. 377 just before 12:30 p.m. on March 22.

OHP Trooper Shelby Humphrey said the girls attempted to turn at the intersection, which maps show is at the end of a 90-degree curve of U.S. 377 from east to south.

The girls’ car was struck by the truck, which was approaching from the east on U.S. 377, KXII-TV reported.

The force of the crash moved the car about approximately 300 feet from the intersection, KXII-TV reported, leaving it in a mangled mess with doors and ripped off.

Four of the girls, including Robertson, were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol report. The other two girls died after being transported to the hospital. 

The six girls were all students of Tishomingo Public School, according to the district’s superintendent. 

‘Our hearts are broken, and we are grieving with our students and staff,’ Superintendent Bobby Waitman wrote on Facebook following the crash. 

The NTB's preliminary report matches how the OHP believes the crash occurred (above)

 The NTB’s preliminary report matches how the OHP believes the crash occurred (above)

Four of the girls, including Robertson, were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The other two girls died after being transported to the hospital

Four of the girls, including Robertson, were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The other two girls died after being transported to the hospital

The force of the crash moved the car about approximately 300 feet from the intersection, leaving it in a mangled mess with doors and ripped off

The force of the crash moved the car about approximately 300 feet from the intersection, leaving it in a mangled mess with doors and ripped off

Memorials for the girls were held at the site of the incident (pictured) and at the their school

Memorials for the girls were held at the site of the incident (pictured) and at the their school

Country music star Blake Shelton, who calls Tishomingo home, issued a statement saying: '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'

The country music star's brother died tragically in a car crash in the 1990s

Country music star Blake Shelton, who calls Tishomingo home, issued a statement saying: ‘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’

Memorials for the girls were held at the site of the incident and at the their school following the crash. 

Country music star Blake Shelton also issued a statement about the crash as he has ties to the community. Both he and his wife, Gwen Stefani, own a 1,300 acre ranch just outside of Tishomingo.

The rural ranch that has a lake and basketball court is where the couple wed and where they have gone to escape the roar of Hollywood.

Shelton reached out to the heartbroken community following the crash to offer words of comfort as he too knows the ‘devastation of suddenly losing a loved one in a car accident.’

‘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,’ he stated. ‘I personally know the devastation of suddenly losing a loved one in a car accident. 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. Keep the prayers coming.’

When Shelton was a teenager, his brother Ritchie Shelton, died in a tragic car accident in November 1990 at the age of 24. Ritchie’s girlfriend and her young son were also killed in the crash



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