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Weekend wrecks total two vehicles, one found after miles of hunting
Weekend wrecks total two vehicles, one found after miles of hunting

Brumley firefighters work to remove a pickup from trees off Highway U after being helped by Crocker firefighters to remove two seriously injured men from the wreck..
BRUMLEY/SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Aug. 31, 2009) — Weekend wrecks totaled two vehicles on Friday night and Sunday afternoon in and near Pulaski County.

Incorrect location reports of a late Friday night crash sent Crocker firefighters up and down Highway U trying to find a pickup truck that had crashed into a group of trees.

Initial reports indicated that the pickup had crashed a few miles northwest of Crocker on Highway U but wouldn’t be immediately visible from the roadway. After extensive searching along many miles of Highway U between Crocker and the Miller-Pulaski county line, Crocker firefighters called their colleagues in Brumley to see if they had received a report of a crash and determined that the wreck was in fact on Highway U but was in the Brumley fire district one mile south of Highway 42 in Miller County instead of a few miles outside of Crocker.

Cpl. E.R. Stacks of the state patrol said Brumley and Crocker firefighters assisted Pulaski County Ambulance District personnel in extricating two seriously injured men from the pickup truck. Michael J. Downing, 22, was transported by Pulaski County Ambulance District personnel to Lake Regional Medical Center in Osage Beach; his passenger, David E. Drace, 24, was transported to the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia by the Staff for Life helicopter service.

Both men are Brumley residents and neither had been wearing their seat belts.

Troopers reported that Downing had been driving his 2003 Chevrolet pickup southbound at a high rate of speed when he skidded off the left side of the roadway at 11:12 p.m. and struck several trees. His pickup was totaled and removed by Whittle Towing.

In an unrelated Sunday afternoon crash, troopers reported that Margie M. Velishek, 47, of St. Robert, had been driving a 2001 Toyota Camry southbound on Highway 17 south of the Gasconade River Bridge when she ran off the right side of the roadway at 3:20 p.m., returned to the roadway, crossed the centerline, began sliding, then went across the centerline again, ran off the right side of the roadway, and struck a tree.

Velishek, who had been wearing her seat belt, suffered minor injuries and was transported by Pulaski County Ambulance District personnel to General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital. Her car was totaled and removed by Jack’s Towing.

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