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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Missouri State Highway Patrol: Five People Die In Traffic Crashes; Three People Drown Over Memorial Day Weekend

Five people died in traffic crashes over the 2017 Memorial Day weekend. Last year, 13 people were killed during the three-day weekend. During the counting period of 6 p.m., Friday, May 26, through 11:59 p.m., Monday, May 29, 2017, the Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated 345 traffic crashes which included 128 injuries and all five fatalities. Troopers also arrested 107 people for driving while intoxicated and made 125 drug arrests. 

During the 2016 Memorial Day holiday weekend, the Patrol investigated 347 traffic crashes which included 128 injuries and six of the 13 fatalities. Last year, troopers arrested 135 people for driving while intoxicated.

There were zero boating fatalities over the 2017 Memorial Day weekend. Marine operations troopers investigated 14 boating crashes involving seven injuries. Three people drowned over the 2017 Memorial Day holiday. Marine operations troopers arrested 20 boaters for boating while intoxicated and made six drug arrests. 

There were zero boating fatalities over the 2016 Memorial Day weekend. Troopers investigated 13 boating crashes involving eight injuries. There were no drownings. Troopers arrested 21 people for boating while intoxicated and made 71 drug arrests. 

Of the five traffic crash fatalities investigated by the Patrol, one occurred in both the Troop A, Lee’s Summit, area and the Troop B, Macon, area. Three fatalities occurred in the Troop C, Weldon Spring, area.

One fatality occurred on Friday, May 26, 2017, during the counting period. Glenwood E. Hargiss, 75, of Park Hills, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving traveled off the left side of the roadway, crossed another roadway, and struck a tree. The crash occurred in St. Francois County on Missouri Highway 32 west of Pine Ridge Trail. Dr. G. Fortuna pronounced Hargiss dead at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Hargiss was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. 

One fatality occurred on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Lindsay E. White, 24, of Kansas City, MO, died when the vehicle she was driving struck a second vehicle headon and then overturned. White was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of Interstate 635 in Platte County. The crash occurred at the 12-mile marker. Paramedic Scott Dorian of Kansas City Fire Department pronounced White dead at the scene. White was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The driver of the vehicle White’s vehicle struck sustained serious injuries; three passengers sustained minor injuries in the crash. The second vehicle’s driver and all its participants were wearing seat belts.

One fatality occurred on Sunday, May 28, 2017. Miranda L. Foster, 34, of Ironton, MO, died while she was assisting a motorist in the median and stepped into traffic. She was struck by a vehicle. The crash occurred in Jefferson County on Interstate 55 south of Missouri Route M. EMS personnel pronounced Foster dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle was not injured in the crash; he was wearing a seat belt.

Two fatalities occurred on Monday, May 29, 2017. Larry W. Rhoades, 19, of Sullivan, MO, died when the driver of the vehicle in which he was a passenger lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle traveled off the left side of the roadway and overturned. The crash occurred in Washington County on Missouri Highway 21 north of Dugout Road. Dr. Eifling pronounced Rhoades dead at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Neither Rhoades nor the driver were wearing a seat belt. 

Jesse W. Kechum, 33, of Downing, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving ran off the right side of the roadway, he overcorrected, returned to the roadway, and the vehicle overturned several times. Both Kechum and a passenger were ejected from the vehicle. The crash occurred in Scotland County on Missouri Highway 15 north of Memphis, MO. Deputy Coroner Sheriff Wayne Winn pronounced Kechum dead at the scene. Neither Kechum nor the passenger were wearing a seat belt. The passenger sustained serious injuries in the crash. 

The only 100 percent survivable traffic crash is the one that never happens. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint. Every day as we travel on Missouri's roadways, we trust that every driver on the road is going to obey the speed limit, pay attention, and drive sober. "Don't Violate The Trust."

Two people drowned on Saturday, May 27, 2017, and one person is missing after a vehicle was swept off the roadway at the intersection of Jupiter Road and Fall Creek Road in Taney County. There were five occupants in the vehicle; the remaining two survived. Branson Police and Fire Department is handling the investigation. 

One person drowned Monday, May 29, 2017. William A. Russo, 53, of St. Louis, MO, was located face-down in the water near a dock near the 3.5-mile mark of the Big Niangua Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks in Camden County. Dr. W. Cravens pronounced Russo dead at the scene. Russo was not wearing a lifejacket when he was found.

Watercraft operators must consider the effect their actions have on others: Share the waterway and use common sense, good judgment, and courtesy to ensure the safety of all. Life jackets save lives. Wear It!!

NOTE: The fatality statistics in this news release could change if late deaths occur, if other departments report fatal traffic crashes, if a fatality is determined to be a drowning, or if a fatality is determined to be caused by a medical condition after this news release was posted.