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Teen driver careens hundred yards in ravine beside Interstate 44 Monday
Teen driver careens hundred yards in ravine beside Interstate 44 Monday

Emergency personnel respond to a wreck on I-44 after a teen driver careened more than a hundred yards down a roadside ravine.
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (March 8, 2010) — A teenage driver managed to avoid rolling her car Monday night despite skidding more than a hundred yards down into a ravine on the side of Interstate 44 near mile marker 165.

Waynesville firefighters and Pulaski County Ambulance District paramedics joined state troopers in responding to a report of a two-vehicle crash involving a semi truck and a passenger vehicle in the eastbound lane at 9:10 p.m. When emergency personnel arrived, they found a silver 2004 Ford Taurus SE station wagon driven by Ariel N. Johnson, 18, of St. James, had been eastbound when she attempted to pass a 2009 Peterbilt conventional tractor-trailer unit owned by Balbach Transport of Rancho Cordova, Calif., and driven by Alfredo Cortes, 55, of Compton, Calif., but struck the semi while trying to pass.

Johnson’s station wagon ran off the right side of the roadway, struck a guardrail, and ran down the embankment before coming to rest.

Arielle Johnson suffered minor injuries; her passenger, James A. Johnson, 18, also of St. James, suffered moderate injuries. Both were transported by ambulance personnel to Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla.

Jack’s Towing removed the station wagon, which sustained extensive damage. The semi sustained moderate damage but was able to be driven from the scene; the semi driver was not hurt.

All people involved had been wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

In unrelated incidents reported by state troopers:

• Joshua A. Williams, 28, of Crocker, was arrested at 2:47 a.m. on Sunday, March 7, by state troopers in Pulaski County on charges of driving while intoxicated, careless and imprudent driving, and failure to maintain financial responsibility.

• Alvin D. Crain, 30, of Vegas, Nev., was arrested at 1:55 p.m. on Sunday, March 7, by state troopers in Pulaski County on charges of first offense driving while intoxicated, not having a valid license and speeding. Crain was transported to the Pulaski County Jail where he was subsequently released.

• Denny W. York, 41, of Dixon, was arrested at 6:24 p.m. on Sunday, March 8, by state troopers in Pulaski County on an outstanding Pulaski County warrant for failure to appear and driving while suspended. York was transported to the Pulaski County Jail where he was subsequently released.

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