MIAMI, Okla. — An outstanding warrant was issued for a Joplin man accused of being under the influence of marijuana when he crashed his vehicle, killing three people, including two children.

Anthony T. Hendricks, 24, is charged in Ottawa County District Court in Miami with three counts of manslaughter.  His bail is set at $45,000 court records show.

Killed in the Sept. 2021 fatal crash were Terry Wilkins, 29, Eden Melton, 7, of Joplin and Raylan Brown, 5, all of Joplin.  The crash occurred approximately three miles west of the Oklahoma and Missouri line on OK-10C.   

Henricks’ blood samples tested positive for Hydroxy-THC, THCA and THC, all marijuana components, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Hendricks blamed the triple fatality wreck on a phantom Ford pickup truck.

While the circumstance leading up to the crash are unclear, what is known is Hendricks’ vehicle left the roadway and overturned multiple times, ejecting Wilkins and Brown, the affidavit states.

“The unknown Ford pickup was not located or identified during the investigation,” and “no physical evidence was discovered during the investigation that suggested the unknown Ford made contact or collided with” Hendricks’s vehicle, the affidavit states. 

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers determined Hendricks was driving at a high rate of speed, the affidavit states.

Hendricks told troopers after he was passed on the roadway by a Ford pickup truck he passed the vehicle driven by his friend, Alexandria Brown, to catch up to the Ford pickup truck. Hendricks told troopers as he approached the Ford pickup truck from the rear, another oncoming vehicle was traveling eastbound, prompting Hendricks to hit his brakes and lose control of his Honda. 

Hendricks changed his story later and told troopers he tried to catch up to the Ford pickup truck because he was going to get the tag number to report it to law enforcement for reckless driving. Hendricks did not get the pickup truck’s tag number, the affidavit states.

Wilkins reportedly was holding Hendricks’ cell phone in his hand as they approached the Ford pickup truck. Alexandria Brown told troopers she retrieved Hendricks’ cell phone from under Wilkins’ body after the crash, the affidavit states.

Hendricks changed his story for the third time and told troopers he got behind the Ford pickup truck which attempted to pass a white SUV but couldn’t because of an oncoming truck.

The Ford pickup truck hit the brakes and entered back into the westbound lane, striking the front of Henricks’ vehicle and causing it to lose control, the affidavit states.

Troopers did not discover evidence consistent with a vehicle striking another vehicle, particularly in the front driver or passenger side of Hendricks’ Honda.  Surveillance video from the crash site to Joplin does not show the Ford pickup, the affidavit states.

Hendricks has a history of four traffic violations out of Delaware and Ottawa Counties dating back to 2015, records show.

Joplin police arrested Hendricks this week on a fugitive warrant out of Oklahoma. A date for his extradition has not yet been set.