‘We will fix this’: Senate Pro Tem, county clerk promise change following son’s shocking crash

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CANADIAN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Mason Treat, 16, was critically injured in a high-speed wreck on I-40 near Garth Brooks Boulevard on January 5.

Treat is part of a very well-known Oklahoma family.

He’s the son of Senate President Pro Tempore, Greg Treat, and Oklahoma County Clerk, Maressa Treat.

Oklahoma Senate Pro Tem’s son victim along with deputy in Friday Yukon crash

During morning rush hour on January 5, Canadian County Deputy Jose Mendoza spotted a black Dodge Charger on I-40 without a license plate.

Mason Treat was behind the wheel; he was on his way to basketball practice.

The Charger was a gift from his parents for his 16th birthday back in November.

“Good morning,” Deputy Mendoza can be heard on his dash camera recording, speaking to the young driver. “The reason I stopped you is you have no tag on your vehicle. Is there a reason for that?”

Treat responds, “Yes, sir.”

Dash camera shows deputy talking through window of black Charger
Dash camera shows deputy talking through window of black Charger

Mason was pulled over because he didn’t have a tag properly displayed on his vehicle yet.

Mason Treat’s car was purchased from a private seller.

In Oklahoma, state law allows 60 days for private sale vehicle purchases to register and tag their new vehicle.

That law actually changed a few years ago, but some law enforcement officers still aren’t aware because the rules are different for dealership sales.

“It should have been a simple conversation,” said Mason’s mom, Maressa Treat. “He should have made it to basketball.”

The Treats believe there is confusion among some law enforcement agencies.

The traffic stop was not quick.

Mason Treat sat in his car on the side of I-40 for at least 14 minutes, waiting for a resolution to the traffic stop.

Deputy Mendoza eventually decided he planned to let Mason Treat go without a warning.

But, before Mendoza can finish his sentence, a pickup truck traveling approximately 70 mph on I-40 crashes into the Charger.

Shocking dashcam shows deputy thrown from side of highway crash

The Charger was pushed into a concrete wall 100 feet away.

Photo of Mason Treat's car following crash
Photo of Mason Treat's car following crash
Photo of Mason Treat's car following crash
Photo of Mason Treat's car following crash

Deputy Mendoza was thrown into the air. He landed 20 feet from the highway.

The drowsy driver who plowed into Treat’s car nearly killed them both.

The deputy’s dash camera continues to roll.

Help arrives two minutes after the crash.

An OHP Trooper is the first to respond.

The trooper scans the deputy for injuries.

Turns out, they are neighbors and friends.

Deputy Mendoza can be heard on dash camera asking the trooper, “Are they ok?”

The trooper responds, “I don’t care about them.”

Canadian County deputy dash cam shows crash
Canadian County deputy dash cam shows crash

Three and a half minutes later, another OHP Trooper arrives.

Both troopers wait with the deputy, who is seriously injured.

At this point, no one has checked on the other victims; no one is helping the teen boy who is unconscious and trapped in his car.

‘It’s been really painful’: Canadian County deputy hurt in traffic stop crash speaks out

A Yukon Police Sergeant arrives on the scene six minutes and 35 seconds after the call for help.

He is the first to check on Mason Treat.

Mason Treat's swollen face following crash
Mason Treat's swollen face following crash

Sgt. Clay Rush reaches the Charger eight minutes and 25 seconds after the crash.

Sgt. Rush has three children at home. One of them is also a teen driver.

“Having a child approximately the same age, I could tell [Mason Treat] was young,” said Sgt. Rush. “I could tell from his body behavior that he had a traumatic head injury. I knew he was severely injured and over my career I’ve seen that go both ways.”

According to Sgt. Rush, Mason was unconcious, unresponsive, broken and seizing.

Mason’s parents have both watched the dash camera video.

“I was angry when I realized the time gap,” Maressa Treat said. “What if he would have survived the crash and wouldn’t have survived those 10 minutes?”

The Yukon Fire Department pried Mason Treat from the wreckage and carried him to an ambulance 24 minutes after impact.

“We are so incredibly thankful for their service,” said Maressa Treat. “My uncle is a Sheriff, my grandfather is a retired police officer, my brother in law is a police officer. We love our police officers. We love our first responders, and and we count on all of them. And I think when there’s a moment that you feel like they almost failed, it’s hard to process because that’s who we do count on. That’s who we count on when we can’t be there, when your little boy is trapped in a car.”

Greg and Maressa Treat with their son, Mason in the hospital
Greg and Maressa Treat with their son, Mason in the hospital

The Treat family is focused on gratitude for the sergeant who waited with their son in his darkest hour.

“When the Yukon Police Officer showed up, and he went directly to Mason and he was able to to hold his hand and talk to him and be with him,” said Maressa Treat. “There’s just such a peace, knowing somebody was there to to just say, ‘It’s okay.'”

The Treats later discovered, family that owned the property where Mason Treat crashed immediately activated their church prayer chain.

Image of Greg and Mason Treat at hospital
Image of Greg and Mason Treat at hospital

“We thank God for the people that did go to [Mason’s] car: the officer from Yukon, the fire department,” said Greg Treat. “There’s a lot of a lot of people that did come and help Mason and be there with him and comfort him.”

Mason spent twenty days in the hospital, including five days in the ICU at OU Health and some time at Bethany Children’s Center for rehabilitation.

“He’s fighting a big fight that a lot of us wouldn’t be strong enough to fight,” said Greg Treat. “He couldn’t walk. He couldn’t shower. He couldn’t do anything on his own, and now he’s wanting to go to a car lot for a new car. It’s a it’s nothing short of a miracle.”

Yes, Mason Treat is ready to drive again.

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His parents are ready to get to work fixing the confusion that led to his traffic stop on I-40.

“We’re going to fix that,” Great Treat said. “I will fix that this year.”

The Senate Pro Tem is in his last legislative session.

Mason’s mom is in her first term as the Oklahoma County Clerk.

“We’re public servants,” said Maressa Treat. “We want to fix things. When we see something’s broken, we want to try to fix it. We want to try to help people.”

Mr. and Mrs. Treat are committed to making high speed highways safer for Oklahoma drivers.

They will be crafting the painful lesson of their son’s experience into new rules of the road for all.

They have met with the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, Service Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Tax Commision.

“We’ve addressed it directly and will continue to address it to make sure that we improve the situation for others,” Greg Treat said.

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