MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL
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. John J. Hotz
Q1416 (573) 526-6115
January 4, 2016
EMPHASIS: Patrol Reports Five Fatalities During New Year's Counting Period
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that there were five fatalities during the New Year's holiday counting period from 6 p.m., Thursday, December 31, 2015 to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, January 3, 2016. Troopers investigated 235 traffic crashes which included 59 injuries and all five of the fatalities. In addition, troopers made 109 arrests for driving while intoxicated during the 78-hour counting period. There were no boating or drowning incidents during the 2016 New Year’s holiday counting period.
During the 2015 New Year’s 102-hour counting period, troopers investigated 344 traffic crashes with 116 injuries, and made 90 arrests for driving while intoxicated. There were no boating or drowning incidents during the 2015 New Year’s holiday counting period.
Two of the fatalities occurred in Weldon Spring, MO, area; two fatalities occurred in the Troop I, Rolla, MO, area; and one fatality occurred in the Troop D, Springfield, MO, area.
Two fatalities occurred on Saturday, January 2, 2016. The double fatality traffic crash occurred on Calvey Creek Road in Jefferson County. No further details are available at this time.
Three fatalities occurred on Sunday, January 3, 2016. William W. Marr, 88, of Forsyth, MO, died when a second vehicle crossed the center line and struck Marr’s vehicle head-on. The crash occurred in Taney County on U.S. Highway 160 west of Forsyth, MO. Taney County Coroner Kevin Twedy pronounced Marr dead at the scene. Marr was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash. The driver of the vehicle that struck Marr’s vehicle was wearing his seat belt; he sustained minor injuries in the crash.
Samantha K. Devol, 32, of Summersville, MO, died when the vehicle she was driving struck another vehicle head-on. The crash occurred in Phelps County on U.S. Highway 63 south of Missouri Highway W. Phelps County Detective Andy Davis pronounced Devol dead at the scene. Devol was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The driver of the Freightliner Devol’s vehicle struck was wearing a seat belt; he was not injured in the crash.
Don W. Watson, 43, of St. James, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving failed to negotiate a curve, traveled off the right side of the roadway, struck two road signs, overturned several times, and struck a tree before coming to rest on its wheels. The crash occurred in Phelps County, on U.S. Highway 68 north of Salem, MO. Phelps County Coroner Larry Swinford pronounced Watson dead at the scene. Watson was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and was ejected from the vehicle. A passenger in Watson’s vehicle was wearing a seat belt; he sustained serious injuries in 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 distributed.