Seven Die in Missouri Traffic Crashes Over Holiday Weekend
Seven people died in traffic crashes during the 2021 Labor Day holiday weekend. Last year, there were 18 fatalities.
The 2021 counting period for the Labor Day holiday ran from 6 p.m., Friday, September 3, through 11:59 p.m., Monday, Sept. 6.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports the following enforcement activity during 2021 Labor Day Holiday:
MSHP Traffic Statistics (preliminary):
Crashes - 351
Injuries - 103
Fatalities - 7
DWI - 108
Drug Arrests - 71
MSHP Boating Statistics (preliminary):
Crashes ─ 7
Injuries ─ 4
Fatalities ─ 1
BWI -- 6
Drownings — 0
Drug Arrests ¯ 18
(Note: During the 2020 counting period, the Patrol investigated 278 traffic crashes, which included 140 injuries and 11 of the 18 fatalities. Troopers made 146 arrests for driving while intoxicated last year. Also, over the Labor Day holiday 2020: Troopers investigated 20 boating crashes involving six injuries and one fatality; and arrested seven people for boating while intoxicated on the state’s rivers and lakes. There were no drownings over the 2020 Labor Day holiday weekend.]
Troopers investigated all seven of the fatal traffic crashes over the 2021 Labor Day holiday weekend. Three of the fatal traffic crashes occurred in the Troop C, Weldon Spring, MO, area; two fatal traffic crashes occurred in the Troop I, Rolla, MO, area; and one traffic crash fatality occurred in both Troop A, Lee's Summit, MO, area, and the Troop F, Jefferson City, MO, area. The boating fatality occurred in the Troop D, Springfield, MO, area.
One boating fatality occurred on Saturday, September 4, 2021. A 14-year-old female from St. Louis, MO, died when a personal watercraft struck the personal watercraft she was operating on Table Rock Lake in Stone County. The 14-year-old was ejected. Dr. Pallohusky pronounced the juvenile deceased at Mercy Hospital. The juvenile operating the other personal watercraft sustained minor injuries. Both operators were wearing life jackets at the time of the crash.
Three traffic fatalities occurred on Saturday, September 4, 2021. Godfrey G. Gitau, 35, of Hazelwood, MO, died when the vehicle he was operating traveled off the roadway and struck a guardrail end cap. Gitau was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. The crash occurred in St. Louis County on Interstate 170 south of Interstate 270. Hazelwood EMS personnel pronounced Gitau dead at the scene.
Jaswant Singh, 31, of Fremont, CA, died when the commercial vehicle in which he was a passenger traveled off the right side of the roadway, struck a guardrail, an embankment wall, and then overturned. Singh was not wearing a seat belt. The crash occurred in Crawford County on Interstate 44 at the 214.8-mile marker. Deputy Coroner Nikki Bussell pronounced Singh deceased at the scene. The driver of the commercial vehicle was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash; he sustained minor injuries. The Crawford County Sheriff's Department and the Bourbon, MO, Police Department responded to the scene.
Renee D. Honor, 47, of Detroit, MI, died when the vehicle she was driving traveled off the right side of the roadway, struck an embankment, and overturned. Honor was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Callaway County on Interstate 70 at the 146.6-mile marker. Dr. Salman Ahmad pronounced Honor deceased at University Hospital in Columbia, MO. A juvenile passenger in Honor's vehicle sustained minor injuries. He was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Three traffic fatalities occurred on Sunday, September 5, 2021. William C. Moore, 28, Lyons, KS, died when the driver of the commercial vehicle in which he was a passenger attempted to exit the roadway causing its load to shift and overturn into the median. Moore was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Jackson County on Interstate 470 at Missouri Highway 291. Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office Investigator Amanda Bogacz pronounced Moore deceased at the scene. A second passenger in the commercial vehicle sustained minor injuries. She was wearing a seat belt. The driver of the commercial vehicle was not injured; he was wearing a seat belt. The Lee's Summit Police Department also responded to the scene.
A 13-year-old male from Cedar Hill, MO, died when the driver of the vehicle in which he was a passenger lost control. The vehicle began sliding, traveled off the roadway, struck a tree, continued to travel northbound off the roadway, and struck a second tree. The juvenile male was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Jefferson County on Engledow Road south of Blackwell Road. Valle Ambulance District personnel pronounced the juvenile deceased at the scene. The 17-year-old driver of the vehicle sustained minor injuries; he was not wearing a seat belt. A 13-year-old passenger sustained serious injuries; he was not wearing a seat belt. A third juvenile passenger, age 16, sustained serious injuries. He was wearing a seat belt.
Matthew W. Hedrick, 27, of Aledo, IL, died after falling off the tailgate of a pickup truck when the vehicle hit a bump while negotiating a curve. When Hedrick fell from the tailgate, he then struck the ground. The crash occurred in Crawford County on a road within the Bass River Resort. Dr. Srivastava pronounced Hedrick deceased at Mercy Hospital Creve Coeur. The driver was not injured in the crash; he was wearing a seat belt.
One traffic fatality occurred on Monday, September 6, 2021. Mark W. Higginbotham, 54, of Farmington, MO, died when the motorcycle he was operating traveled off the left side of the roadway and overturned, ejecting him. The vehicle then collided with the median cable barrier. Higginbotham was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in St. Francois County on U.S. Highway 67 south of Missouri Highway 8. St. Francois County Coroner Jason Coplin pronounced Higginbotham deceased at the scene.
NOTE: The fatality statistics in this news release could change if late deaths occur, if other departments report fatal traffic/boating crashes after this news release was published, or if a fatality is determined to be caused by a medical condition rather than traffic/boating incident.