Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, provides the following preliminary statistics related to the Christmas holiday weekend:

Three people died in traffic crashes during the 78-hour counting period, which began at 6 p.m. Friday, December 23, 2022, and ended at 11:59 p.m. Monday, December 26, 2022.

2022 Christmas Holiday Traffic Statistics

Troopers investigated the following:

Traffic Crashes — 306
Traffic Crash Injuries — 84
Traffic Crash Fatalities — 3
DWI — 52

[Note: Last year during the 78-hour Christmas counting period, there were 881 traffic crashes statewide. In those crashes, eight people were killed and another 401 were injured. During the 2021 Christmas holiday, troopers investigated 227 traffic crashes which included four fatalities and 99 injuries. Troopers arrested 67 people for driving while impaired in 2021.]

There were no boating crashes or drownings over the 2022 Christmas holiday counting period.

Of the three fatality traffic crashes investigated by troopers, two occurred in the Troop F, Jefferson City, MO, area, and one occurred in the Troop D, Springfield, MO, area.

There were no traffic fatalities on Friday, December, December 23, 2022, during the holiday counting period.

There was one fatality on Saturday, December 24, 2022. Kristan R. Price, 26, of Florence, MO, died when the vehicle she was operating traveled into the westbound lanes of U.S. Highway 50 and struck a vehicle before returning to the eastbound lanes, then skidding back into the westbound lanes, and striking another vehicle. Price’s vehicle then overturned. It is unknown if Price was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The first vehicle Price’s vehicle struck skidded off the roadway; the driver was wearing a seat belt and was not injured. The driver of the second vehicle Price’s vehicle struck was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash; he sustained minor injuries. The crash occurred in Morgan County on U.S. Highway 50 west of Lewis Drive. Dr. M.B. Jones pronounced Price dead at the scene. The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene.

One fatality occurred on December 25, 2022. Samuel M. Mitchell, 63, of Joplin, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving traveled off the right side of the road and struck the concrete cap of a vertical culvert. The crash occurred in Newton County on Apricot Road south of Joplin, MO. Three passengers in Mitchell’s vehicle sustained serious injuries, one passenger sustained moderate injuries, and one passenger sustained minor injuries in the crash. No one in the vehicle was wearing a seat belt. Dr. Gross pronounced Mitchell dead at Mercy Hospital in Joplin, MO.

One fatality occurred on Monday, December 26, 2022. Susan C. Graham, 73, of Arcola, MO, died when another vehicle crossed the center of the roadway in front of the vehicle in which she was a passenger. After striking the other vehicle, Graham’s vehicle rotated and traveled off the right side of the roadway and came to rest. The crash occurred in Camden County on U.S. Highway 54 west of Tangle Drive. Dr. Cooper pronounced Graham dead at Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach, MO. Graham was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The driver of the vehicle was wearing a seat belt; he sustained moderate injuries. The driver of the vehicle that crossed in front of Graham’s vehicle was not wearing a seat belt and he sustained serious injuries in the crash.

NOTE: The fatality statistics in this news release could change if late deaths occur, if other departments report fatalities after this news release was sent out, or if a fatality is determined to be caused by a medical condition rather than a traffic/boating/drowning incident.

Too many people die in traffic crashes each year in Missouri. The choices you make when you’re behind the wheel matter. Make good choices, so you’ll never have to say, “If I could just go back.”

Follow the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Twitter @MSHPTrooperGHQ

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