July 24, 2003

Dangerous Section Of Highway 61 Claims Another Life

The Avenue Of The Saints, named for the proposed connection between St. Louis and St. Paul, is taking on a rather holy look for other reasons as the number of crosses representing fatal accidents on the road continues to grow.

The dangerous section of Highway 61 between Canton and Wayland turned deadly once again as the troublesome portion of the proposed Avenue of the Saints was the sight of another fatality on July 16. The lone portion of the embattled highway on the proposed interstate between St. Louis and St. Paul, MN yet to be funded for four-lane construction, claimed the life of a Clark County woman in a two-vehicle collision.

Sandra M. Curfman, 54, of Alexandria was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash in Clark County, three miles south of Wayland at 2:30 p.m. by Clark County coroner Edwin Wilson.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Curfman was northbound on Highway 61 in a 2001 Ford Ranger when her truck crossed the center line. The left front of her pickup impacted the left front of a southbound 1997 Volvo semi trailer driven by Krunoslav Akrapovic, 25, of Rochester, MN. The semi was unable to avoid the collision as the crash occurred less than one foot east of the southbound shoulder.

Curfman's body was taken to Wilson Funeral Home in Kahoka. Krunoslav was not injured in the crash.

Traffic was backed up for nearly an hour after the crash, which was reported at 1:47 p.m. The highway was limited to one-lane for a period after the initial response by the Highway Patrol, Clark County Sheriff's Department, Wayland Fire Department, Clark County Rescue Team #2 and Clark County Ambulance Service. The Highway Patrol's Crash Team #2 also responded to the scene to further investigate the fatal crash and reconstruct the circumstances of the accident.

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