A Calera man was killed Wednesday afternoon just before 5 p.m. when the 2012 Honda motorcycle he was riding collided with an SUV on Highway 70.
The accident occurred close to 5pm approximately 2 1/3 miles west of Durant.
Joseph, “Joey” Craig 32, a mechanic at Kool Kar Automotive in Mead, was killed when a 2011 Chevrolet Suburban driven by Peggy Cuesta, pulled into the roadway from a business just west of the Silo/Kirsey Road intersection.
Cuesta had two boys with her and no one in her vehicle suffered injuries.
Craig was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene by Medical Examiner Investigator John Miller.
He was transported to Oklahoma City for autopsy.
Aeriel “Arie” Rogers, his widow, has been with Joey 7 years this past August.
She’s 6 months pregnant with their baby expected in March.
Arie said about their soon to be born boy, “I’m so glad it’s a boy. He’s going to have his whole name. He’ll be a little Joey, Joseph Ray Craig.”
The couple’s home is in Platter with Roger’s oldest Alessia, and Summer, the Craigs’ youngest daughter.
Arie said, “I’m going to miss the way he played with our kids. Alessia was just over a year and 3 months when we got together.”
Craig had just picked up a motorcycle in Durant at Kool Kar Sales and was on his way to the automotive end of the business located in Mead.
According to his manager Jim Byrd, Craig was taking the motorcycle to the shop in Mead to store the bike.
Byrd said about Craig Friday afternoon, “He was a man who had little but gave everything he could. Every day he brightened someone’s day with his personality and smile.”
Byrd broke down in the conversation, noticeably shaken by his the loss of a valued friend and employee as he said, “Joey was one of the good ones ,who all you had to do was ask him and he’d be there for you in a second to help.”
Arie’s uncle, Rick Smith in Missouri, said by phone Craig was an experienced motorcyclist and was a giver who took good care of his niece.
Craig has a four wheeler himself, according to Arie Rogers.
Rogers said, “Our youngest, she is such a daddy’s girl it’s unreal. She’s so much like Joey, it isn’t funny.”
According to Carolyn Comer, Arie’s paternal grandmother, “Joey was an angel. He would help anyone. He would give you the shirt off his back. He loved those girls and he loved Arie dearly.”
Zack Ingram at the Kool Kars Sales lot said, “Joey was a great guy.”
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Kyle Ince with assistance from Lt. Scott Hampton, Trooper Brad Dansby, Trooper Jamey Miller, the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, the Durant Police Department, West Bryan County Fire Department, and Bryan County EMS investigated the accident that is still under investigation.
According to Lt. Hampton, he and OHP have conducted a drone flyover Thursday and were on location again Friday gathering details at the scene.
Hampton said, “There’s a lot of intricate parts of this investigation. I can say that there is no foul play suspected. This is just a terrible tragedy.”
Arie Rogers said Friday evening, “I still haven’t told the girls. I wanted to wait ‘til later tonight because I didn’t want to leave to make the funeral arrangements and them think that I’m not coming back.”
Ashley Rutherford is a close friend to Rogers, who works part time at Dollar Tree.
Rutherford is arranging a spaghetti fundraiser that is being planned for January 22 to help the family.
She said she wants to be there for her friend and help as much as possible for her and the girls.
Craig’s body has been released with Brown’s Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Rogers said, “I’m going to miss so much about Joey. I’ll miss his beautiful smile and his eyes. I’m going to miss the wonderful way he was the father to our kids. I’m going to miss everything about Joey. There’s not a thing that I’m not going to miss.”
Byrd said, “Remember they say, why did God take the good ones? It’s because those are the ones you remember. Those are the good ones that stick out and we always remember. We will always remember Joey.”