A Division Of The
Department of Public Safety
Public Information and Education Division - PO Box 568 - Jefferson City, MO 65102


For further information please contact: Capt. J. Tim Hull
Q11095 (573) 526-6115

November 30, 2009
Emphasis: Two Fatalities Over 2009 Thanksgiving Holiday

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports two people died during this year’s Thanksgiving holiday counting period--from 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 25, 2009 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 29, 2009. The Highway Patrol investigated one of the two fatality traffic crashes. Troopers investigated 333 traffic crashes, which included 126 injuries. In addition, troopers arrested 135 people for driving while intoxicated. [During the 2008 Thanksgiving holiday, troopers investigated 488 traffic crashes, which included 143 injuries. Statewide, there were 14 fatalities over the 2008 Thanksgiving weekend. In addition, troopers arrested 114 people for driving while intoxicated in 2008.]

The fatality traffic crash investigated by troopers occurred in the Troop A, Lee’s Summit, area. The other fatality was investigated by the Springfield Police Department.

One fatal traffic crash occurred on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26, 2009, in Greene County. Jason R. Teale, 35, of Springfield, MO, died when he lost control of the vehicle he was driving and struck a parked vehicle. His vehicle then left the roadway and struck a tree. A passenger in the vehicle sustained injuries in the crash. The crash occurred on S. Glenn Avenue in Springfield, MO. The Springfield Police Department investigated the crash.

One fatality occurred on November 29, 2009, in Benton County. Jerry W. Puckett, 58, of Kansas City, died when the driver of the vehicle in which he was a passenger lost control. The vehicle crossed the center line and struck two other vehicles before overturning and coming to rest on the roadway. The second vehicle involved in the crash slid off the roadway, struck a ditch, and came to rest upright. The third vehicle in the crash came to rest on the roadway. Puckett was pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Hospital-Kansas City by Dr. Harry Wilkins. He was not wearing a seat belt. The driver of the vehicle Puckett was riding in sustained serious injuries; she was wearing a seat belt. The driver of the second vehicle sustained minor injuries in the crash; he was wearing a seat belt. The driver and a passenger in the third vehicle sustained serious injuries; both were wearing a seat belt. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 7 north of Missouri Route UU. The Benton County Sheriff’s Department and Warsaw Fire Department and EMS assisted at the scene of the crash.

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.