Writing about recent automobile fatalities is always a sad and sobering experience. So often when reading the reports, it is evident that many of these fatalities need not have happened. In most instances, they occur in part because of the simple failure to wear a seat belt. In others, it seems clear that just a moment of inattention while driving, can create sudden and severe consequences. We provide these summaries as a reminder of the inherent risks and dangers in driving and the importance of exercising care whenever you find yourself behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Eleven individuals suffered fatal accidents on Missouri’s roads and highways during the week of July 4th through the 11th. Curtis Stallo, 14, of Salisbury, Missouri in Chariton County was pulling a flat bed trailer with a John Deere Tractor when he collided with a bridge railing, causing the tractor to overturn off the bridge and come to rest on top of the boy.
Edward Shields, 37 of Neosho, Missouri in Newton County was killed in a one car accident when he ran off the right side of the roadway in his 1993 Ford Ranger, overcorrected and then ran off the left side and overturned on old US 60 approximately 5 miles east of Seneca. He was not wearing a seat belt.
Jacob Breidenback, 18 of Lonedell in Franklin County, Missouri was fatally injured in Mill Hill Road when he was apparently traveling too fast for conditions and lost control of his vehicle causing it to slide sideways and cross the center line where it was struck head on by an oncoming Chrevrolet Silverado. Both drivers were wearing seat belts. Also injured was Douglas Briedenbach, 16, who was an passenger in the car and was taken by ambulance to St. Johns Hospital in Creve Coeur.
In another one car accident, Edward Koehler of Verona, Missouri in Lawrence County was killed when his pickup ran off the roadway on a curve and hit a tree east of Verona. He was not wearing a seatbelt.
Donald Moon, 53, of Sedalia, Missouri was killed by a train at a railroad crossing on route MM at Menefee Road in Pettis County. Apparently Mr. Moon had attempted to stop when the crossing arms and lights activated, but struck and drove through the crossing arm before stopping on the tracks directly in front of the train.
Mitchell Beredzen, 44 of Eugene, Mo was killed in a one car accident in Calloway County when his vehicle traveled off the left side of Highway 63 into the median and overturned into Cedar Creek, coming to rest on its top. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead on the scene by the Boone County Medical Examiner.
Matthew Parker, 18 of Appleton City, Missouri in St. Clair County was killed when he failed to stop at a stop sign and drove into the path of another vehicle at an intersection in Appleton City. After the impact, Mr. Parker was ejected and was later pronounced dead at Cass County Regional Medical Center. He was not wearing a seat belt.
Christopher Davis, 51, of Knob Noster, Mo was fatally injured in Pettis County at US 50 and MO 127 when he failed to yield according to the police report. His 1997 Saturn was struck on the driver’s side by a 2008 Toyota causing it to overturn several times before coming to rest.
Joyce Warttig, 58, of Dittmer, Missouri was killed in a one car accident on Route C in Jefferson County when her vehicle raveled off the right side of the roadway and struck a driveway and mailbox before overturning. She was not wearing a seatbelt.
Lynn Fraker, 54, of North Liberty, Iowa was killed in an accident on Highway 54 west of Route A when a 2004 Mazda she was a passenger in was struck by a vehicle attempting to pass the Mazda. The Mazda then lost control causing it to veer into the opposite lane where it was struck head on by a 2008 Chevrolet. Nine individuals were injured in the crash. The investigating officer didn’t specify what caused the passing car to hit the Mazda, triggering the accident. No citations were indicated on the initial crash report.
Finally, John Dodson, 65, of Mound City, Missouri was fatally injured in a one car accident on MO 111 in Holt County when his pickup traveled off the east side of the roadway and he overcorrected causing the truck to slid out of control, go off the west side of the roadway, strike a guardrail and overturn.