Summer Cox killed by thief near Ottumwa

Seymour native dies in head-on collision after armed robbery

Summer Cox with her children, Mackenzie, now 15, standing behind her, and Shianne, 12 and Cody, 11.

On Mon., Feb. 26, Seymour native and Allerton resident Summer Leanne Cox, 34, a mother of three children, was killed in a head-on vehicle collision on Highway 34 just outside of Ottumwa.

That night, a man, Nathaniel Wesley Stroud of Centerville, 28, robbed a Breadeaux Pizza delivery driver, Christian Garrett, 21, stabbing Garrett multiple times in the face. He then stole Garrett’s 2002 Chevy Silverado, and rammed into Summer’s vehicle, a 2014 Chrysler 200, near the intersection of T61 and Highway 34 in Monroe County at 8:03 p.m. Stroud’s vehicle came to rest in the north ditch. Cox’s vehicle came to rest on the south side of the road. Stroud was killed in the collision, as well.

Both drivers were the sole occupants of their vehicles, and both were pronounced dead at the scene.

Garrett was taken to the hospital and treated for his injuries.

Stroud had a history of run-ins with the law, including an October of 2014 arrest in Appanoose County and subsequent conviction for willful injury.

Before the crash, witnesses had reported a vehicle driving erratically, eastbound on Highway 34 on the wrong side of the road.

“That he was willing to take somebody’s life over what, 40 bucks and a pizza,” Summer’s mother, Lisa Crisp, lamented to Brynn Carman of KTVO Channel 3 News of Ottumwa. “She used to call me every day, or I would call her every day. We’ve always been close, always.”

Just three years ago, Crisp lost a son, Daniel Crisp, to a vehicle accident. He was only 28 years old.

Summer’s three children, Mackenzie, 15, Shianne, 12, and Cody, 11, attend the Wayne Community School District. They will now be under the care of their father, Chad Cox, and his wife, who live in Corydon.

“Chad and Erica will be wonderful with them,” Summer’s mother told KTVO.

“They were here at school yesterday [Feb. 27],” Wayne teacher Rebecca Roberts said of Summer and Chad’s children. “Mackenzie goes to high school. The two younger ones were here at the elementary school. They wanted to see their teachers. They want their school family, and they’re reaching out.

“Shianne is one of my homeroom kids. When she stopped in today, they knew she was up in the office. They had made this big card for her. They wanted her to know how much they’re thinking of her.”

Contributions may be made to the Summer Cox family at

According to, “The knife had stabbed [Garrett] so hard up his nose that it punctured the bone above his sinus and through his membrane. This has put a hole in his head that has allowed air to escape into his frontal lobe, causing his brain to leak fluid.”

Garrett is currently in the Intensive Care Unit at Ottumwa Regional Health Center, awaiting surgery to reduce the possibility of infection and meningitis. He has a fiancée and a nine-month-old child, and supports them by working two jobs.

The accident has left Garrett unable to work or serve in his duties for the Army National Guard. Donations may be made to Garrett and his family at