Students at Incarnate Word Academy held a prayer vigil Sunday night for three victims of a multicar accident on I-170 in Bel-Ridge over the weekend. Beth Campanella, 16 of Hazelwood and a student at Incarnate Word, was driving northbound on 1-170 with her 11-year-old sister Katherine (“Katie”), when she was apparently struck by another northbound vehicle. The accident is still under investigation, but authorities are looking for a blue Mazda Tribute SUV, with damage on the driver’s side, that they believe was involved and left the scene.
The girls car veered off the left side of the roadway following the collision, struck the median cable barrier, then rotated into the path of a southbound Chevy Blazer driven by Grace Matney, 36 of Florrissant. The Blazer was then struck by a Chrevrolet Malibu driven by James Vanderiet of O’Fallon, Missouri. Eleven year-old Katie Campanella was pronounced dead at the scene. Her sister Beth was transported by helicopter to St. Louis Children’s Hospital with serious injuries. Grace Matney was also seriously injured and taken by ambulance to Barnes Hospital.
Beth suffered two broken arms, and four pelvic fractures. She is a member of the National Honor Society, a tennis player and vice president of the student council. Initial estimates are that she may be hospitalized for two months and endure a long recovery. The extent of Ms. Matney’s injuries is not yet reported.
Authorities continue to investigate the accident. Should you have any information on a blue Mazda Tribute SUV with driver-side damage please contact the highway patrol immediately.