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
Q11292021 (573) 526-6115
November 29, 2021
Emphasis: Patrol Reports Nine Fatalities; No Drownings, Boating Crashes Over 2021 Thanksgiving Holiday
The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports nine people died in traffic crashes during this year’s Thanksgiving holiday counting period--from 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 24, 2021, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 28, 2021. There were no boating crashes or drownings.
During the Thanksgiving holiday counting period, troopers report the following traffic statistics for 2021 (preliminary):
DWI ─ 125
Drug Arrests ─ 72
[During the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday counting period, troopers investigated 307 traffic crashes, which included 10 fatalities and 86 injuries. Statewide, 12 people died and 379 people were injured in 1,166 traffic crashes over last year’s Thanksgiving holiday. Troopers arrested 99 people for driving while intoxicated during the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday counting period.]
Troopers investigated all nine of the traffic crash fatalities. Three of the fatalities occurred in the Troop C, Weldon Spring, MO, area; three fatalities occurred in the Troop A, Lee's Summit, MO, area; and one fatality occurred in each of the Troop E, Poplar Bluff, MO, Troop G, Willow Springs, MO, and Troop H, St. Joseph, MO, areas.
Three people died Friday, November 26, 2021. Rita J. Overstreet, 59, of Doniphan, MO, died when she drove into the path of another vehicle. Overstreet was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, which occurred in Butler County on U.S. Highway 67 at Country Road 323. Dr. Guthikonda pronounced Overstreet deceased at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center. A passenger in Overstreet's vehicle sustained serious injuries in the crash. She was not wearing a seat belt. The driver and passenger in the other vehicle sustained serious injuries in the crash. Neither were wearing a seat belt.
Jerry W. Cantrell, 77, and Delores J. Cantrell, 77, both of Independence, MO, died when the vehicle Jerry was driving crossed Missouri Highway 291 into the path of another vehicle. Both were wearing seat belts. Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office Investigator Lauren Hoff pronounced both Cantrells dead at the scene. The crash occurred in Jackson County on Missouri Highway 291 at Cement City Road. The driver of the other vehicle sustained serious injuries in the crash. He was not wearing a seat belt.
Two people died in traffic crashes on Saturday, November 27, 2021. Bradley A. Collins, 62, of Spickard, MO, died when the motorcycle he was operating failed to negotiate a curve and traveled across the center line, off the roadway, and struck an embankment. The motorcycle then came to rest on its side on the train tracks. Collins was not wearing a helmet and was ejected. The crash occurred in Grundy County on Missouri Route C at Spickard. Deputy Coroner Steve Tracy pronounced Collins deceased at the scene of the crash.
A 13-year-old from Cabool, MO, died when the vehicle in which she was a passenger traveled off the right side of the roadway, overturned, and struck a fence. She was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Texas County on Missouri Highway 181 two miles south of Cabool, MO. The Texas County Chief Deputy Rowdy Douglas pronounced the passenger dead at the scene. The driver, 14, and a second passenger,13, also from Cabool, sustained serious and minor injuries, respectively. Neither were wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Four people died in traffic crashes on Sunday, November 28, 2021. Vatina A. Gillespie, 52, of Kingsville, MO, died when she began to pass a vehicle and struck another vehicle head on. She was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, which occurred in Johnson County on Missouri Highway 58 one mile north of Missouri Route F. Johnson County Coroner Clark Holdren pronounced Gillespie deceased at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle sustained minor injuries. He was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
A triple fatality traffic crash took the lives of Aliyah R. Tatum, 21, of Florissant, MO, Dion Martin, 24, of St. Louis, MO, and Kenrick G. Smalling, 24, of St. Louis, MO. The vehicle Smalling was operating was traveling too fast for conditions and he lost control. The vehicle started to slide, struck the left side of another vehicle, continued to slide, and struck a second vehicle. Smalling's vehicle then traveled off the right side of the road, started to roll, and struck a chain link fence. Neither Smalling nor his passengers were wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in St. Louis County on Interstate 270 west of West Florissant Road. A member of the Ferguson Fire Department pronounced Smalling dead at the scene of the crash. Dr. Muller pronounced Martin deceased at Christian Hospital Northeast. Dr. Christensen pronounced Tatum deceased at SSM DePaul Hospital. The driver of the first vehicle Smalling's vehicle struck sustained moderate injuries in the crash; she was wearing a seat belt. Three passengers in that vehicle sustained minor injuries; all were wearing seat belts. The driver of the second vehicle Smalling's vehicle struck was not injured; he was wearing a seat belt.
There were zero boating crashes, zero boating fatalities, zero drownings, and zero boating while intoxicated arrests reported during the 2021 Thanksgiving holiday counting period.
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.
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