July 5, 2012

Deadly Week Continues Alarming Trend on Missouri Highways in 2012

The July 4th holiday is typically one of the most tragic periods on Missouri's highways. Unfortunately for the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Troop B, the region's bad news started a week early with a particularly dangerous seven days on the area's highways.

In one deadly week, the 15-county Troop B region saw it's roadway death toll in 2012 climb from 16 to 20, with four fatal crashes.

On Sunday, June 24th, a Ewing man died in a one-car accident in Lewis County at 11 a.m.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Russell L. Patterson, 55, died when the 1998 Ford F-150 he was driving went off the roadway and struck a grain bin before overturning and coming to rest on its top. Patterson was not wearing his seatbelt.

An Illinois man died when he pulled out in front of a semi on Highway 63 in Lancaster on Wednesday, June 27th.

The crash occurred at 2:50 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 136. According to the Patrol, Timothy F. Renfro, 45, of Donnellson, was driving a 2006 Town & Country van, when he failed to yield and pulled into the path of a 2004 Volvo Tractor Trailer unit driven by Marion T. Huffman, 44, of Niota, IL.

Renfro was pronounced dead at the scene by Schuyler County Coroner Douglas Norman.

Huffman sustained minor injuries in the crash. Mary A Hurley, 67, of Exline, IA, was lifeflighted from the scene to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. She was southbound on Highway 63 in a 2003 Ford Taurus when her vehicle was struck by the semi trailer after the initial collision.

A Clifton Hill man died on Saturday, June 30th as a result of a two-car crash in Randolph County at 5:20 a.m.

According to the Patrol, Philip W. Call, 24, died following a head-on-collision on Highway 3 north of Clifton Hill. The crash occurred as two vehicles were cresting a hill and both vehicles crossed the center line. The driver of the other car, Austin T. Francis, 17, suffered moderate injuries in the crash. Call was not wearing his seatbelt. Francis was wearing a seatbelt.

A Paris teenager passed away at University Hospital Sunday evening from injuries sustained in a one-vehicle accident in Monroe County at 7 a.m. on Friday, June 29th.

According to the Patrol, Mary B. Anglen, 18, was driving a 1997 Buick Skylark on Route D, west of Santa Fe when the car travelled off the right side of the roadway. the driver overcorrected and the car overturned, before coming to rest on its wheels. Anglen was not wearing a seatbelt.

Although Missouri has experienced a decrease in fatalities over the last six years, the first six months of 2012 have been deadly. When comparing early last year to the same time period this year, as of the date of this release, Missouri has experienced an increase of 62 traffic crash fatalities. Traffic crash reports indicate over two-thirds of those fatalities involved people who were not wearing a seat belt. A common theme of the contributing circumstances is failure to remain in the proper lane, which includes crossing over the center line and running off the right side of the road.

"Since January 1 of this year, Missouri has seen an increase in traffic crash fatalities compared to the same period of time last year," said Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "Please give your full attention to driving. Follow all traffic laws, and remember that seat belts can and do save lives. Please buckle up."

During last year's Fourth of July holiday weekend, 10 people were killed and 41 seriously injured in crashes.

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