January 6, 2011

Highway Patrol Investigates Pair of New Year's Day Crashes

The Missouri Highway Patrol investigated a pair of local traffic accidents on New Year's Day.

The first occurred at 12:47 p.m. in Scotland County on County Road 252, nine miles south of Memphis.

According to the Patrol, Sterling D. Forrester, 71, of Memphis, was northbound in a 1996 Buick when he failed to yield at an intersection and collided with a 2006 Dodge driven eastbound by Delmar Z. Oberholtzer, 16, of Rutledge.

A passenger in the Oberholtzer vehicle, Glen M. Oberholtzer, 49, suffered minor injuries in the crash. He was taken by private auto to Scotland County Hospital in Memphis.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Scotland County Sheriff's Office and the Scotland County Ambulance Service.

The second accident occurred at 4:55 p.m. on Route A four miles south of Downing in Schuyler County.

According to the Patrol, Nathan P. Schafer, 19, of Lancaster, was northbound in a 1999 Ford when the vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway, struck a bridge railing, before coming to rest off the right side of the roadway.

Schafer was transported by Schuyler County Ambulance to Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville with moderate injuries.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Schuyler County Sheriff's Department, Schuyler County EMS and first responders.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported one person died in Missouri during the New Year's holiday counting period from 6 p.m., Friday, December 31, 2010 to 11:59 p.m., Sunday, January 2, 2011. Troopers investigated 157 traffic crashes with 70 injuries and the fatality. In addition, troopers made 90 arrests for driving while intoxicated.

During the 2010 counting period troopers investigated 319 traffic crashes with 92 injuries and four fatalities. In addition, troopers made 113 arrests for driving while intoxicated last year.

The fatality troopers investigated occurred in the Troop D, Springfield area, on New Year's Day in Greene County. Joseph W. Russell, 31, died when the vehicle he was driving struck a 2002 freightliner head-on. Both vehicles then traveled into the median and caught on fire. Russell was driving eastbound in the westbound lane of Interstate 44 just west of Springfield at the time of the crash. The driver of the freightliner was not injured. Russell was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Greene County Medical Examiner David Black pronounced Russell dead at the scene. Greene County Sheriff's Department, Willard Fire Department, Brookline Fire Department, and Missouri Department of Transportation also responded to the scene.

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