For further information please contact: Capt. J. Tim Hull
January 3, 2012
EMPHASIS: Patrol Reports Five Fatalities During New Year’s Counting Period And Releases The Preliminary 2011Traffic Fatality Reduction Statistics
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports five people died during the New Year’s holiday counting period from 6 p.m., Friday, December 30, 2011, to 11:59 p.m., Monday, January 2, 2012. Troopers investigated 163 traffic crashes with 75 injuries and 5 fatalities. In addition, troopers made 114 arrests for driving while intoxicated.
During last year’s New Year’s holiday counting period, troopers investigated 157 traffic crashes with 70 injuries. Statewide, there were five fatalities during the 2011 New Year’s holiday. In addition, troopers made 90 arrests for driving while intoxicated.
Two fatalities occurred in the Troop F, Jefferson City area, one fatality each occurred in the Troop A, Lee's Summit area, the Troop B, Macon area, and the Troop I, Rolla area.
One fatality occurred on Friday, December 30, 2011. Robert D. Theissen, 23, of Morrison, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving failed to negotiate a curve and travelled off the left side of the road. The vehicle then struck a ditch, overturned and struck a tree. Theissen was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected during the crash. Gasconade County Coroner Ben Grosse pronounced Theissen dead at the scene. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 100 just west of County Road 203 in Gasconade County.
One fatality occurred on Saturday, January 1, 2012. Kameron C. Gwin, 19, of Columbia, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving travelled off the right side of the roadway and struck a tree. Gwin was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Boone County Medical Examiner Dori Burke pronounced Gwin dead at the scene. A passenger in the vehicle who was wearing a seat belt received serious injuries in the crash. The crash occurred on Missouri Route Z just north of St. Charles Road in Boone County.
Three fatalities occurred on Monday, January 2, 2012. Joann Vice, 37, of Greentop, MO, died when the vehicle she was riding in failed to stop at a stop sign and drove into the side of another vehicle. Vice was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Dr. Stringman pronounced Vice dead at the Northeast Regional Medical Center. The driver of the vehicle Vice was riding in, who was not wearing a seat belt, received moderate injuries in the crash. The driver of the other vehicle was wearing a seat belt and received minor injuries. The crash occurred on U.S. Highway 63 at Missouri Route W in Schuyler County.
Virginia F. Bruce, 40, of Kansas City, MO, died when the vehicle she was driving was struck in the rear as it was disabled and stationary on the right shoulder of Interstate 470. Bruce was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Jackson County Medical Examiner Investigator Larry Cridlebaugh pronounced Bruce dead at the scene. A passenger in Bruce's vehicle, who was wearing a seat belt, received minor injuries. The driver of the other vehicle was wearing a seat belt and received moderate injuries. The crash occurred on Interstate 470 west of Pryor Road in Jackson County.
Wayne C. Taylor, 44, of Steelville, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving crossed the centerline and struck another vehicle head-on. Taylor was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Crawford County Coroner Paul Hutson pronounced Taylor dead at the scene. It is unknown if the driver of the other vehicle was wearing a seat belt and he received serious injuries. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 19 near Missouri Route O in Crawford County.
Based on preliminary crash report information, Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, wants to make the public aware of a 5 percent decrease in traffic fatalities in 2011 when compared to 2010. “As of January 3, 2012, Missouri traffic crash fatalities totaled 773 for 2011, compared to 821 traffic crash fatalities in 2010. This is the first year since 1949 that Missouri has experienced less than 800 fatalities. I appreciate the tremendous enforcement and education efforts of troopers throughout the state, and I thank Missouri’s drivers for joining us in trying to make each year safer than the previous.”
Note: The 2011 fatality statistics in this news release could change if late deaths occur, or if other departments report fatal traffic crashes after this news release was sent out.