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Monday slideoffs damage many cars, but injure few
Monday slideoffs damage many cars, but injure few

St. Robert police and firefighters handle a head-on crash Monday morning caused by snow-slicked roadways on Highway Z in front of McDonald's.
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 2, 2008) — The first snowfall of the season caused many slideoffs and crashes on Monday morning, Dec. 1.

“It’s been like since 4 this morning; it’s nonstop,” said Pulaski County Emergency Management Director Lawson Smith.

Emergency personnel estimated at least two dozen crashes countywide, including one rollover on Highway 133 south of Richland near the Chatters bar, but only two of the crashes resulted in injuries. Fort Leonard Wood personnel reported 15 crashes but no injuries. Most accidents Monday occurred after soldiers completed their physical training, between 8 and 10 a.m., according to post spokesman Mike Alley.

About 7:45 a.m., Pulaski County 911 dispatchers received a report of two separate wrecks on the eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate 44 near mile marker 159. A two-vehicle crash on eastbound I-44 turned out to have no injuries, but the single-vehicle crash on westbound I-44 caused moderate injuries to three men from outside the area.

According to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports, Anson D. Hughes, 40, of St. Louis, was westbound in a 2007 Ford Econoline van when he lost control on a roadway covered with ice and snow, ran off the left side of the road and struck a bridge. Hughes and his two passengers, Steven G. Konert, 58, of Fenton and John M. Robb, 50, of Imperial, all suffered moderate injuries despite wearing their seat belts and were transported to St. John’s Hospital in Lebanon by Pulaski County Ambulance District paramedics.

Hughes’ vehicle was extensively damaged and removed by Rothmund’s Towing in Waynesville.

Dispatchers received at least two reports of rollovers. One reported rollover near Buckhorn couldn’t be located by emergency personnel, but when Richland police and firefighters responded to the rollover report south of town on Highway 133, they found one vehicle rolled over and numerous other slide-offs, and called for Missouri Department of Transportation personnel to send a salt truck.

The second Monday morning injury crash was a head-on wreck inside the St. Robert city limits on Highway Z near McDonald’s. According to city police reports, Jennifer A. McClone, 26, of St. Robert, was westbound at 8:25 a.m. driving a 2004 Toyota when she attempted to avoid hitting a vehicle directly in front of her that was sliding on the ice-covered roadway. As she attempted to maneuver her vehicle to the north edge of the roadway, she was propelled to the south by the curbing and ran into the eastbound lane, directly in front of an eastbound 2005 Dodge Stratus driven by John W. Kempel, 41, also of St. Robert.

Kemple and a passenger, Rebecca F. Pointer, 34, also of St. Robert, were transported to General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital for treatment of undetermined injuries. McGlone refused transport for medical treatment, according to police reports.

Both vehicles sustained extensive damage and were removed by Jack’s Towing of St. Robert. Police reported that all three people had been wearing their seat belts.

Three weekend crashes also injured area residents, according to state patrol and St. Robert police reports.

A Sunday afternoon rollover wreck on Highway 28 one mile south of Dixon injured a Dixon teen and totaled her car.

According to state patrol reports, Rachelle L. Bassett, 17, of Dixon, was southbound in a 1994 Ford Escort at 2:05 p.m. when she began to slide, ran off the right side of the roadway and overturned.

Bassett, who had been wearing her seat belt, suffered moderate injuries and was transported by Dixon Ambulance District paramedics to Phelps County Regional Medical Center. Her vehicle was removed by Pro Tow of Dixon.

Two crashes early Saturday morning inside the St. Robert city limits injured three people, according to St. Robert police.

About 12:35 a,m., Richard E. Weixelbaum, 17, of Waynesville, was westbound on Old Route 66 driving a 1989 Chevrolet truck in the vicinity of OB’s Billiards when Robbie D. Darden, 29, of Crocker, attempted to enter the roadway while driving a 1997 Ford, failed to see Weixelbaum’s truck, and pulled into the path of the truck.

St. Robert police reported that both drivers as well as a passenger in Darden’s vehicle, Kevin D. Dudley, 30, of Poplar Bluff, were treated at the scene by Pulaski County Ambulance District paramedics. Dudley declined ambulance transport but both drivers were transported with undetermined injuries to area hospitals, Darden to Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla and Weixelbaum to General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital. All three occupants had been wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

Police cited Darden for careless and imprudent driving causing an accident.

St. Robert firefighters also assisted paramedics and police with patient care and traffic control.

A separate crash about two hours later resulted in a hit-and-run followed by a car chase.

According to St. Robert police, Eathan W. Crace of Dixon was making a right turn from the Interstate 44 interchange onto Highway 28 in a 2000 Cadillac about 2:15 a.m. when he was travelling too fast for the roadway, crossed the road, and ran off the north side of the roadway. When he attempted to bring his vehicle back onto the roadway, he overcorrected, causing his vehicle to rotate 360 degress counterclockwise, during which he ran into the westbound lane and hit a 2005 Kia driven by Erica U. Pilago, 24, of Fort Leonard Wood.

After hitting Pilago’s Kia, Crace’s vehicle travelled down an embankment and fled the scene.

Pulaski County Ambulance District paramedics treated Pilago at the scene and transported her to General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital with undetermined injuries.

Two passengers in Pilago’s vehicle, Kayla D. Hammonds, 26, and Joshua M. Johensen, 26, both of Fort Leonard Wood, had been wearing their seat belts and reported no injuries.

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