The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports two people died in traffic crashes during the 30-hour 2019 Christmas holiday counting period.

The 2019 Christmas counting period ran from 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019, through 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019.

2019 Christmas Holiday Traffic Statistics

Troopers investigated the following:

Traffic Crashes ― 91
Traffic Crash Injuries ― 23
Traffic Crash Fatalities ― 2
DWI ― 18

[Note: Last year during the 102-hour Christmas counting period, there were 1,155 traffic crashes. In those crashes, 11 people were killed and another 421 were injured. During the 2018 Christmas holiday, troopers arrested 106 people for driving while impaired.]

There were no boating crashes or drownings over the 2019 Christmas holiday counting period.

Both fatalities occurred in the Troop C, Weldon Spring, area, on Christmas Day, December 25, 2019.

Leon J. Barnett, 48, of De Soto, Mo., died when another vehicle struck the motorcycle he was driving. Barnett was traveling at a low rate of speed in the northbound lanes of Interstate 55 in Jefferson County when another vehicle traveling the same direction changed lanes. The front of the second vehicle struck the rear of Barnett’s motorcycle. The impact caused Barnett to be ejected. Barnett was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Joachim-Plattin EMT M. Tawfall, Crystal City, Mo., pronounced Barnett deceased at the scene of the crash. The driver of the vehicle that struck him sustained minor injuries; he was wearing a seat belt.

Elizabeth J. Rutledge, 32, of Troy, Mo., died when the vehicle she was driving traveled off the right side of the roadway and she overcorrected, causing the vehicle to return to the roadway and overturn. Rutledge was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. The crash occurred on Highway H in Silex, Mo., in Lincoln County. Lincoln County Ambulance personnel pronounced Rutledge deceased at the scene.

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

Randy Kirby