Blake Shelton Pays Tribute to 6 Teens Killed in Oklahoma Car Crash: ‘Keep the Prayers Coming’

by Suzanne Halliburton
Rick Kern/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Blake Shelton knows the heartbreak of losing someone you love in a car crash. That’s why he wanted to bring comfort to the residents of his tiny town in Oklahoma.

Shelton used his words to give the town of Tishomingo, Okla., a big hug. Everyone was mourning the loss of six teenage girls who died when their car collided with a tractor-trailer earlier this week.

“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,” Shelton said in a statement. “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.”

On Tuesday, all six girls, who attended the same high school, packed into a car to grab a quick, off-campus lunch. The driver of the car was attempting a right turn when her vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer. The police did not release the names of the dead. However, it’s a town of 3,000, where everyone basically knows everybody else. It used to be the capital of the Chickasaw Nation. Nationally, folks know about it because Shelton lived there. And now, people are sharing in its heartbreak.

County Sheriff Became Emotional Speaking to Reporters

Johnston County Sheriff Gary Dodd was emotional as he talked with reporters from The Oklahoman. His deputies had to tell the next of kin about the car accident.

“It’s rough,” Dodd said. “In 22 years, I’ve seen a lot of stuff — critical incidents, shootings. We do see a lot of death, unfortunately, but to see children that have suffered that type of trauma, it’s raw. It hurts, no matter who you are. To lose six in one scene is an absolute travesty.

“This will have a lifelong effect on their families and friends. This will impact this community for a long time.”

Blake Shelton Wrote a Song For His Brother, Who Died in a Car Crash

Shelton bought a ranch outside of Tishomingo more than a decade ago. He married Gwen Stefani there last summer. He’s a big part of the community.

“There’s no question it will take a long time to heal from this tragedy,” Shelton said. “Keep the prayers coming,” Wednesday’s statement concluded.

Blake Shelton knows what it’s like to lose someone close in a car crash. When he was only 14, his big brother, Richie, died in a car wreck. He and then-wife, Miranda Lambert, wrote “Over You” in 2011 as a tribute to Blake’s older brother.

“I remember picking up the phone to call him a week after he was dead, to tell him something,” Shelton said in a 2014 60 Minutes interview. “I was picking up the phone to call him, to tell him something I just saw on TV. And it was like constantly a shock to me that he was dead.”