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Lawsuit on the horizon after fatal oil rig accident near Blackwell


KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City reports that a family is grieving the loss of a loved one as another family hopes for a full recovery for theirs after a maintenance rig tipped over near Blackwell in early April. Now, a lawsuit may be on the horizon.

Although an official lawsuit has not been filed, the families’ attorney, Sherman Reed, said one is “likely” after several investigations from several agencies to determine what happened and why.

“There’s a lot that this family is having to adjust to, having to come to terms with, that they never thought two weeks ago that they would be dealing with,” Reed said.

The families are left in shambles after the tragic incident two weeks ago that severely injured Zane Jones and killed Jacob “Jack” States. States is survived by his fiancé, Shannan, and their three kids, Brantley, Baker and two-month-old Britton.

“There is a child that’s two months old that will obviously never know or meet his father,” Reed said. “There’s a young mother who now has lost not only her companion, but also knows that her child is not going to know and have the ability to be raised by the father.”

Reed said in early April that Zane and Jacob were on a servicing rig doing some maintenance on a saltwater disposal well.

“So, this well servicing rig was brought in, it was set up, and then obviously during a very windy day of operations that rig fell over,” Reed said.

Zane and his family. Photo provided the Jones Family.


Zane was on the rig as it fell, and Reed said he rode it to the ground suffering massive injuries. But Jacob was on the ground, and it landed on top of him. His family sent us the picture below that shows where Jacob was pinned with his overalls still there.


The scene of the tragedy. Photo from Jacob States’ family.


Now, both families are left looking for answers as to what went wrong and why. Several agencies investigated early on, including OSHA.

“It’s way too early to talk about responsibility and where the responsibility lies in this case. Our intention is to do a very thorough investigation and to speak to all the parties involved,” Reed said. “These derricks don’t fall over. They’re not supposed to fall over. So, there’s got to be some reason why this would be, and we intend on finding out what those reason or reasons are.”


Jacob and Shannan. Photo from Jacob States’ family.


Reed said they have filed for probate in Grant County where Jacob lived. He said that’s necessary in any wrongful death situation so Jacob’s fiancé and family members can be appointed as administrators over his estate. Zane is still recovering at this time.


Click here and click here for GoFundMe pages that have been set up to help the families. A fundraiser is also being held in the form of a drive-thru dinner in support of the families.