Two separate Saint Robert wrecks injure four Friday morning, evening
By: Darrell Todd Maurina
A rollover wreck blocked Superior Road for nearly an hour on Friday morning.
SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Nov. 7, 2009 UPDATED 11:30 a.m., Nov. 24) — Two separate crashes in or near St. Robert on Friday wrecked four vehicles, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol and St. Robert police reports.
The day’s first wreck happened at 9:14 a.m. near the salvage yard of Poor Boy’s Towing on Superior Road just west of the St. Robert city limits when a black 1993 Ford Bronco pickup truck ran off the gravel road and landed on its top, with gasoline rushing out of the fuel tank.
The driver, David T. Ballantyne, 20, of Waynesville, had to be extricated from the vehicle. Waynesville firefighters initially called for Staff for Life air ambulance to be placed on standby and for St. Robert firefighters to set up a landing zone, but after evaluating what were determined to be minor injuries, Pulaski County Ambulance District personnel transported Ballantyne to General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital for treatment.
According to Trooper S. Crabtree, Ballantyne had been westbound on Superior when he lost control of the vehicle, travelled off the right side of the roadway, struck a ditch and overturned.
While the truck was totaled, Crabtree said the driver’s injuries were much less serious than originally feared.
“I don’t think anything was broken; he was just pretty shaken up,” Crabtree said. “His statement was he swerved to miss a dog, but the evidence at the scene doesn’t indicate that.”
The pickup truck had custom wheels that “lifted” the truck above its ordinary height. While that can help navigate bad roads with high obstacles, that alteration to the truck design may not have helped Ballantyne on Friday morning.
“It didn’t help him because the center of gravity was higher; once the truck began to roll, the center of gravity shifted,” Crabtree said.
Ballantyne had been wearing his seatbelt and that likely saved him from more serious injury, Crabtree said.
Jack’s Towing personnel removed the vehicle and emergency personnel reopened the blocked road for traffic by 10 a.m.
A three-car pileup Friday night on Highway Y north of the Interstate 44 overpass sent one person to an area hospital with serious injuries and caused undetermined injuries to others.
According to Sgt. Butch Hohman of the St. Robert Police Department, the crash happened at 7:20 p.m. when Tito O. Maher, 17, of Fort Leonard Wood, was driving about 250 feet north of the overpass, diverted his attention from the roadway to adjust his stereo, failed to see several vehicles stopped at the traffic light, and struck the back of a 2008 Dodge Ram pickup truck driven by Theresa L. Perret, 47, of Waynesville, causing Perret’s pickup to strike a third vehicle, a 2009 Toyota Prius driven by Kelly C. Sipe, 40, of St. Robert.
Maher’s vehicle sustained extensive damage and was removed by Rothmund’s Towing. Two of Maher’s passengers, Cory Lang, 19, and Shelly Lang, 16, both of Fort Leonard Wood, were transported to General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital. According to the reporting officer, Jennifer Hicks, Maher showed no indications of injury but was also transported due to his age; ambulance personnel said he reported neck and back pain.
Sipe, who is active duty military, was transported to General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital with moderate to serious injuries, according to ambulance personnel.
Perret was transported to St. John’s Hospital in Lebanon with what St. Robert police reported as undetermined injuries, later clarified as moderate by ambulance personnel.
Cory Lange’s injuries resulted in Fort Leonard Wood medical personnel sending him to University Hospital in Columbia, where he remained in serious but stable condition. Shelly Lange's injuries were reported by ambulance personnel as moderate to serious.
St. Robert firefighters also assisted at the crash scene.