May 29, 2003

Patrol Reports Ten Fatalities Occur Over Memorial Day Weekend

Ten people died in traffic crashes over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Last year, three people were killed during the three-day weekend. The Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated 320 traffic crashes resulting in 168 injuries and nine fatalities during the counting period of 6 p.m. Friday, May 23, 2003 through 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 26, 2003.

The St. James Police Department investigated the tenth fatality with assistance from the Highway Patrol.

During this same counting period, 147 persons were arrested for driving while intoxicated. During the 2002 Memorial Day weekend, troopers investigated 277 traffic crashes resulting in 155 injuries and three fatalities, and arrested 162 people for driving while intoxicated.

Of the 10 fatalities, four occurred in the Troop D, Springfield area; four occurred in the Troop E, Poplar Bluff area; and two occurred in the Troop I, Rolla area.

One fatality occurred on Friday, May 23, 2003. Jessica L. Pollock, 19, St. Charles, died when the driver of the ATV on which she was a passenger lost control of the vehicle. The crash occurred in Stone County on Lakeshore Drive in Kimberling City.

The ATV traveled off the roadway and struck a tree. Neither the driver nor Pollock were wearing a helmet. Pollock was thrown off the ATV. Stone County Coroner Rick Stumpff pronounced her dead at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle sustained serious injuries.

Four fatalities occurred on Saturday, May 24, 2003.

Charollette A. McDonald, 17, Buffalo, died when the vehicle she was driving crossed the center line and struck another vehicle head-on. The crash occurred in Dallas County on Route H south of Buffalo. Dallas County Coroner Brett Viets pronounced McDonald dead at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle and passengers in both vehicles sustained moderate to serious injuries in the crash.

McDonald and three of the five people involved in the crash were wearing seat belts. It is unknown whether or not the fifth person was wearing a seat belt.

Rita J. Domitro, 47, Werner Domitro, 45, and Andrew Domitro, 12, all of Franklin, IL, were killed in a traffic crash in Cape Girardeau County on Interstate 55 north of Jackson.

The crash occurred when the driver lost control of the vehicle, skidded off the right side of the roadway and overturned several times down an embankment. All occupants except Rita J. Domitro, who was driving, were ejected from the vehicle. One other passenger in the vehicle sustained moderate injuries.

Cape Girardeau County Coroner Michael Hurst pronounced Rita J. Domitro and Andrew Domitro dead at the scene; Werner Domitro was pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital. Rita J. Domitro was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash; Werner Domitro and Andrew Domitro were not.

Two fatalities occurred on Sunday, May 25, 2003. Christopher D. Duvall, 27, of Grandview, died when the vehicle he was driving ran off the roadway, struck a bridge embankment, overturned, caught fire, and landed below the bridge. The crash occurred in Cedar County on Route CC west of Stockton.

Duvall was pronounced dead at the scene by Cedar County Coroner C.W. Neale. It is unknown whether or not Duvall was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Michael G. Harris, 49, of Caruthersville, died while riding a motorcycle. He was traveling eastbound on Missouri Highway 84 when a westbound vehicle turned in front of him, causing the crash. The impact caused Harris to be thrown from the motorcycle. A second vehicle then struck Harris. The crash occurred in Pemiscot County in Caruthersville.

The two vehicle drivers were wearing their seat belts; Harris was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Three fatalities occurred on Monday, May 26, 2003.

Shelley Sherman, of Del City, OK, died when her vehicle traveled across the median, struck a guardrail, then continued until it struck an embankment and overturned. The crash occurred in Pulaski County on Interstate 44 west of Waynesville.

Sherman was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and was ejected. Pulaski County Coroner Mikel Hartness pronounced her dead at the scene. A passenger in Sherman's vehicle was wearing a seat belt. He sustained minor injuries.

Danny R. Calahan, 50, of Galena, died when he lost control of the vehicle he was driving, ran off the road, and struck a tree. The vehicle then caught fire and burned. Stone County Coroner Rick Stumpff pronounced Calahan dead at the scene. It was undetermined whether or not Calahan was wearing a seat belt. The crash occurred in Stone County on McCord Bend Road west of Galena.

James Mitchell, 59, died when the vehicle he was driving left the roadway, struck a culvert, overturned, and came to rest on its top. The crash occurred in Phelps County in the 14000 block of Dillon Outer Road in St. James.

Phelps County Coroner Larry Swinford pronounced Mitchell dead at the scene. Mitchell was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. St. James Police Department worked the crash with assistance from the Highway Patrol. St. James Fire Department and St. James Ambulance District also responded to the scene.

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