Fishing for Pickups: Driver careens into river off Highway 17 Tuesday

Darrell Todd Maurina

Fishing for Pickups: Driver careens into river off Highway 17 Tuesday

Marty Weston of Jack's Towing helps remove a pickup from the river off Highway 17 north of Waynesville on Tuesday afternoon.
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (April 14, 2009) — For the second time since coming to work for Jack’s Towing two years ago, Marty Weston had to wade into water Tuesday afternoon to hook a tow cable to a drowned vehicle.

After getting out of the cold river water and climbing up a steep embankment to get back to Highway 17, he had a simple warning for people who run their vehicles into rivers: “Don’t make me do this in the winter!”

The Tuesday afternoon crash caused only minor injuries to the pickup driver, John T. Weber, 58, of Crocker, who according to state patrol reports was northbound in his 2003 Toyota Tacoma pickup at 4:15 p.m. when he ran off the left side of the roadway about two miles north of the Waynesville city limits, struck a tree, and after hitting the tree, continued downhill before coming to rest in the river. Weber, who had been wearing his seat belt, was transported to General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital by Pulaski County Ambulance District personnel.

However, Kerry McIntosh of Crocker said the crash could easily have been far worse. McIntosh said his wife was southbound on Highway 17 when Weber’s pickup truck careened down a steep embankment into the river.

“She was in that lane and he went right in front of her,” McIntosh said. “It’s lucky she saw him because nobody else would have been able to see that vehicle in the river.”

Pulaski County sheriff’s deputies and Waynesville firefighters also assisted at the crash scene, controlling traffic on the road with narrow shoulders until the pickup truck could be pulled out of the river.

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