Ten Fatalities Over 2016 Thanksgiving Holiday, Patrol Says
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports 10 people died during this year’s Thanksgiving holiday counting period -- from 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016.
Troopers investigated 400 traffic crashes, which included 124 injuries, and eight of the 10 fatalities. The Sedalia Police Department and Kirksville Police Department each investigated one traffic fatality. In addition, troopers arrested 103 people for driving while intoxicated and made 100 drug arrests during the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday counting period. [During the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday, troopers investigated 544 traffic crashes, which included 150 injuries. Troopers arrested 99 people for driving while intoxicated that same weekend.]
Two of the fatalities occurred in both the Troop A, Lee's Summit, and Troop B, Macon, areas; Five of the fatalities occurred in Troop C, Weldon Spring, area; and one fatality occurred in the Troop G, Willow Springs, area.
There were no fatality traffic crashes to report on Wednesday, November 23, 2016, or Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2016.
Three fatal traffic crashes occurred on Friday, November 25, 2016. Audra M. Evans, 37, of St. Louis, MO, died after second vehicle struck her vehicle, which was on its passenger side in the northbound lane of Interstate 55 after having been in a separate traffic crash. The front left of the second vehicle struck the roof of Evans’ vehicle. The crash occurred in the northbound lane of Interstate 55 north of Missouri Route Z in Jefferson County. Both Evans and the other driver were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. The other driver sustained minor injuries. Dr. Charshafian pronounced Evans dead at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Jack A. Wolters, 17, of Kearney, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving traveled off the right side of the roadway and struck a road sign and a tree. The crash occurred on Plattsburg Road north of 162nd Street in Clay County. Wolters was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Kearney EMS Paramedic Jamie Davidson pronounced Wolters dead at the scene. Clay County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene.
Sandra K. Waters, 65, of Orrick, MO, died when the vehicle in which she was a passenger was struck by another vehicle whose driver failed to yield to a red light. The crash occurred at the intersection of U.S. Highway 50 and Winchester Drive in Sedalia. Waters was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. She was pronounced dead at Bothwell Hospital. Sedalia Police Department investigated the crash.
Two fatalities occurred on Saturday, November 26, 2016. Thomas Fargo, 68, of Cherokee Village, AR, died when the vehicle he was driving ran off the right side of the roadway and overturned multiple times. The crash occurred on U.S. Highway 63 south of Brandsville, MO, in Howell County. Fargo was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash. Howell County Coroner Tim Cherry pronounced Fargo dead at the scene.
Stanley D. Thurman, 80, of Paris, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving failed to yield and was struck by a train. The crash occurred on County Road 235 west of Paris, MO, in Monroe County. Thurman was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Monroe County Coroner James Reinhard pronounced Thurman dead at the scene.
Five fatalities occurred on Sunday, November 27, 2016. Robert S. Batson, 26, of Sullivan, MO, Sushma Settipalli, 32, of Plano, Texas, and Mahidhar Settipalli, 2, of Plano, Texas, died in the same fatality traffic crash. Batson’s vehicle was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 44 when it struck the left front corner of the vehicle Sushma Settipalli was driving. Batson’s vehicle traveled off the left side of the roadway and came to rest in the median cables. The vehicle Settipalli was driving traveled off the right side of the roadway where it came to rest. The crash occurred on westbound Interstate 44 near the 236.2-mile marker. It is unknown whether or not Batson was wearing a seat belt. Both Sushma Settipalli and Mehidhar Settipalli were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. An additional five passengers in Settipalli’s vehicle sustained minor to serious injuries; all five were wearing their seat belts. The three fatalities were pronounced dead by EMS personnel at the scene. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department and St. Clair Police Department also responded to the scene.
Betty J. Carver, 31, of Bonne Terre, MO, died when the vehicle in which she was a passenger traveled off the roadway and overturned. Carver was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred on Missouri Route E at Rain Tree in St. Francois County. The driver of the vehicle and another passenger sustained moderate and serious injuries, respectively; neither were wearing a seat belt. St. Francois County Coroner Jim Coplin pronounced Carver dead at the scene.
Kirksville Police Department investigated the remaining fatality. No further information is available.
There were no boating crashes, zero boating fatalities, no boating while intoxicated arrests, and no drownings reported during the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday counting period.
NOTE: The fatality statistics in this news release could change if late deaths occur, or if other departments report fatal traffic crashes after this news release is sent out.