Oklahoma man gets 100 years in prison after I-40 crash killed three in Crawford County last year

VAN BUREN -- An Oklahoma man was sentenced to 100 years in prison in Crawford County Circuit Court on Tuesday in connection with a vehicle crash that left three dead and others injured last year.

Ivan Santos, 31, of Norman, Okla., pleaded guilty in a jury trial Monday to three counts of negligent homicide, a class B felony; four counts of attempted negligent homicide, a class C felony; and first offense driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, according to court records.

Santos was also ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution and a $1,000 fine as part of his sentence, as well as spend one year in the county jail for the driving while intoxicated charge.

A warrant for Santos' arrest -- which included an additional charge of second degree battery -- was issued May 24, 2022, according to court records.

Santos' arrest affidavit states he was driving east in the westbound lane on Interstate 40 in Crawford County about 6:07 p.m. May 12 of that year when he hit a group of six motorcycles -- one of which had a passenger -- with his pickup. Three of the motorcyclists were pronounced dead at the scene while four others suffered injuries. The injured were taken to a hospital and released that same night.

Arkansas State Police identified those who died in a fatal crash summary as Patricia Lemar, 44, and Leonard Lemar, 46, both of Slidell, La.; and Malinda Shano, 50, of Terryton, La.

Santos also had a passenger with him who was seriously injured, which included multiple broken bones, according to the arrest affidavit.

"One of the responding officers smelled the odor of intoxicants on Santos' breath," the affidavit states. "Santos made a statement that he had been drinking, which he later recanted. His passenger made a statement to the effect that the two had been using methamphetamine and pills."

Santos surrendered to Oklahoma authorities on June 3, 2022, based on the arrest warrant filed against him, according to a news release that day from Arkansas State Police.

Santos had originally pleaded not guilty to his charges June 22, 2022, court records show. His jury trial was originally scheduled to take place April 6 before being continued to Monday.