RICHLAND, Mo. (Oct. 8, 2009) — A Richland woman is dead and three vehicles wrecked following a Wednesday evening head-on crash on the “S-curves” south of Richland on Highway 7.
Cleaning up the crash was complicated by livestock. One of the vehicles was a pickup truck pulling a hog trailer in which the driver was carrying a pig he had just purchased. Personnel from Rothmund’s Towing entered the hog trailer, tied down the pig, carried it to a waiting pickup truck, and held the pig down while sitting in the pickup truck bed and driving to the farm of the person who had sold the pig.
“I have a feeling this is going to get interesting,” said tow company owner Joe Rothmund as he prepared to enter the hog trailer. “You don’t want to go to the bacon farm, do you? I don’t want to be chasing you all over town.”
The hog escaped any serious injuries, but several of the motorists were not so lucky.
According to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports and information obtained at the crash scene, Tracy L. Rider, 42, of Richland, had been northbound in a blue 2005 Toyota Camry LE when she lost control of her car about 6:30 p.m., crossed the centerline, and struck a southbound black 2009 Hyundai Elantra driven by Natalie M. Thode, 37, of Waynesville, causing moderate damage to the driver’s side rear of the Elantra. The Hyundai driver wasn’t hurt, but Rider’s Toyota continued northbound and struck a southbound silver 2001 Dodge 4x4 SLT pickup truck pulling the hog trailer and driven by Michael J. Miller, 44, of Newburg.
That head-on crash totaled both Miller’s pickup and Rider’s car, causing minor injuries to Miller and killing Rider, who was pronounced dead on the scene by County Coroner Mikel Hartness and transported to Richland Memorial Chapel. Miller was transported by Pulaski County Ambulance District personnel to St. John’s Hospital in Lebanon.
Thode and Miller had been wearing their seat belts; Rider was not, and firefighters had to extricate her body from the twisted car wreckage.
The crash tied up traffic for hours. Tri-County firefighters from Richland and Hazelgreen firefighters, Mark Twain REACT volunteers, and Pulaski County sheriff’s deputies stopped most traffic from going north of the Gasconade River Bridge and set up a detour onto Highway W through Turkey Ridge. Richland police also assisted at the crash scene, which was only four miles south of the city limits.
Rothmund’s Towing removed all three vehicles.
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