PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Nov. 30, 2009 UPDATED 3 p.m.) — Thanksgiving weekend’s previously calm roadways changed into a mass of squealing tires and smashing cars on Sunday as four separate wrecks injured seven people.
The wrecks began at 12:20 a.m. when state troopers received a report of a rollover wreck on Route AB in the Laquey area, about five miles south of Interstate 44. When troopers and other emergency personnel arrived, they found a westbound 2005 Mazda driven by Jason E. Green, 23, of Waynesville, had run off the right side of the roadway, struck a concrete culvert and overturned.
Green, who had been wearing his seat belt, suffered moderate injuries and was transported by Pulaski County Ambulance District personnel to General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital. His vehicle was totaled and removed by Rothmund’s Towing.
Green had been wearing his seat belt.
Troopers reported that Green was arrested at 12:50 a.m. for driving while intoxicated, first offense. Rather than being taken to the Pulaski County Jail, he was transported to General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital and subsequently released, which is typical for injured crash victims.
Later in the morning, a second rollover on eastbound Interstate 44 at mile marker 159 in St. Robert caused minor injuries to the driver and two passengers.
According to state patrol reports, Anthony E. Bickley, 24, of Waynesville, had been driving a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu at 8:40 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle, ran off the right side of the roadway, struck a ditch and overturned.
Bickley and two passengers, Stephanie R. Hill, 21, of Arnold, and their son, Trevon E. Bickley, 1, of Arnold, were transported by Pulaski County Ambulance District personnel to Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla for treatment. All except Hill had been wearing seat belts or child restraints.
The vehicle was totaled and removed by Jack’s Towing.
Troopers reported that Bickley had no proof of insurance.
Two separate crashes in Phelps County on Sunday also injured Pulaski County residents.
State troopers reported a four-vehicle crash at 1:08 p.m. injured two people and Missouri Department of Transportation personnel reported that the left lane of Interstate 44 in Phelps County near mile marker 198 was blocked until 4:05 p.m.
According to state patrol reports, Bobbie J. Morris, 73, of Devil’s Elbow, was westbound on Interstate 44 in a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu when she stopped due to traffic congestion at mile marker 197.8. A 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe driven by John O. Hannemann, 24, of Town and Country, stopped behind Morris, but his vehicle was struck by a 1995 Chevrolet Silverado pickup driven by Cody P. Murphy, 19, of St. Peters, which forced the Santa Fe into Morris’ Malibu. Murphy’s pickup was then was struck in the rear by a 2001 Ford F250 pickup driven by Jeremy M. Romine, 34, of St. James.
All four vehicles sustained minor damage and were able to be driven from the scene. Morris and a passenger in Jeremy Romine’s pickup, Heather Romine, 35, of St. James, both suffered minor injuries but chose to seek their own medical treatment rather than being transported by ambulance.
All people involved in the crash had been wearing their seat belts.
Later in the evening, traffic congestion less than 10 miles away contributed to another crash in Phelps County involving Pulaski County residents.
According to state patrol reports, Luke C. Demers, 21, of Waynesville, was westbound on Interstate 44 at mile marker 191.8 when he stopped his 1994 Chevrolet S-10 pickup for traffic congestion at 6:50 p.m. and his pickup was struck in the rear by a 1998 Chrysler Sebring driven by Timothy J. Edmondson, 21, of St. Charles.
Both vehicles sustained only minor damage and were able to be driven from the scene. Demers suffered minor injuries but chose to seek his own medical treatment rather than being transported by ambulance.
Both drivers had been wearing their seat belts.
In unrelated incidents reported by the Missouri State Highway Patrol:
• Troopers reported that a Fort Leonard Wood resident, Anthony W. Wheeler, fled law enforcement and was arrested Saturday by state troopers in Laclede County following a crash. Wheeler, 27, faces charges of speeding, careless and imprudent driving, failure to register a motor vehicle, no vehicle insurance, failure to drive on the right half of the roadway resulting in an accident, and resisting arrest by fleeing. Troopers reported that Wheeler was arrested at 5:31 p.m. and transported to the Laclede County Jail, where he was subsequently released. According to Fort Leonard Wood public affairs personnel, Wheeler is a sergeant in the 3rd Chemical Brigade.
• Troopers arrested Daniel J. Richey, 27, of Waynesville at 2:06 a.m. Sunday in Laclede County on charges of driving while intoxicated, first offense, and failure to drive on the right half of the roadway. Richey was transported to the Laclede County Jail where he was subsequently released.
NOTE: Updates to article reflect additional information provided by Fort Leonard Wood public affairs personnel confirming that Wheeler is an Army sergeant assigned to the 3rd Chemical Brigade.