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May 27, 2014

Simmons Center executive director killed in crash

Death of Junior Harris called `tragic'

DUNCAN — The executive director of the Simmons Center was killed in a single-car accident  near the intersection of U.S. Highway 81 and Osage Road, police said Tuesday.

Junior Harris,  executive director of the Simmons Center since 2008,  was dead at the crash scene, Sgt. David Woods of the Duncan Police Department said.

 The wreck occurred about 3:30 p.m. Monday.

“The man was coming from Lawton,” Woods said. “For reasons unknown, he went off the roadway. He hit a ditch,  then a culvert. He was ejected from the vehicle.”

Woods said it was safe to assume Harris was not wearing a seat belt. Nothing was present to lead the Duncan police officers to believe alcohol was involved in the accident, he said.

No one else was in the vehicle, Woods said.

“From the time the vehicle left the road until it came to rest, there wasn’t much time for him to correct,” Woods said.

The Simmons Center Board of Directors released a statement that it “mourns the tragic loss” of  Harris.

“Junior loved his family unconditionally and always put them as a priority in his life.  He sincerely loved the Simmons Center and its staff.

“Junior was a dedicated executive director and viewed it as the pinnacle of his career.  He often compared his assignment at the Simmons Center to that of an athlete achieving the chance to go to the national championship.  Junior was a man of enormous compassion and was a great role model to the hundreds of kids he mentored over the years. We pass our sincerest condolences to Junior's family, friends, colleagues and the members of the Simmons Center.”

 

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