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. J. Tim Hull
May 29, 2012
EMPHASIS: Seven People Die In Traffic Crashes; No Boating Fatalities During Memorial Day Holiday
Seven people died in traffic crashes over the 2012 Memorial Day weekend. Last year, four people were killed during the three-day weekend. The Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated 232 traffic crashes resulting in 95 injuries and five of the fatalities during the counting period of 6 p.m. Friday, May 25, 2012, through 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 28, 2012. The Sikeston Department of Public Safety and St. Louis Police Department each investigated one fatality. During this same counting period, 184 people were arrested by the Patrol for driving while intoxicated. During the 2011 Memorial Day weekend, the Patrol investigated 281 traffic crashes resulting in 127 injuries, and arrested 133 people for driving while intoxicated.
There were no boating fatalities over the 2012 Memorial Day weekend. However, troopers investigated 14 boating crashes involving six injuries. Troopers also arrested 37 people for boating while intoxicated over the holiday weekend. During the 2011 Memorial Day weekend, officers investigated eight boating accidents, which included one injury and zero fatalities. One person drowned at the Lake of The Ozarks over last year’s Memorial Day weekend. Twenty-three people were arrested for boating while intoxicated during the 2011 holiday.
Of the five fatalities investigated by the Patrol, two fatalities occurred in the Troop D, Springfield area; and one fatality occurred in the Troop A, Lee’s Summit area, Troop C, Weldon Spring area, and Troop F, Jefferson City area.
One person died in a traffic crash on Friday, May 25, 2012. Rachelle B. Alling, 16, of Ozark, MO, died when the vehicle she was driving ran off the roadway and struck a culvert and a driveway. The crash occurred on Route W south of Ozark in Christian County. Christian County Coroner Michael S. Ensign pronounced Alling dead at the scene. Alling was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
One traffic fatality occurred on Saturday, May 26, 2012. Ulyses Neal IV, 23, of Sikeston, MO, died after the driver of the vehicle in which he was a passenger lost control. The vehicle struck a tree and came to rest in the front yard of a home. The crash occurred on Jackson Street in Sikeston, MO. Neal was ejected from the vehicle. The driver and a second passenger sustained serious injuries; a third passenger sustained minor injuries. Sikeston Department of Public Safety investigated the crash.
One traffic fatality occurred Sunday, May 27, 2012. Christopher A. Harrah, 26, of Rolla, MO, died when the driver of the vehicle in which he was a passenger failed to negotiate a curve and traveled off the right side of the roadway. The vehicle struck a driveway, became airborne, and struck a tree. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 185 north of Little Boone Creek Road in Franklin County. The driver sustained serious injuries; she was wearing a seat belt. A second passenger, who sustained moderate injuries in the crash, was also wearing a seat belt. Harrah was pronounced dead at the scene; he was not wearing a seat belt.
Four traffic fatalities occurred on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, 2012. Larenzo Bellchris, 3, of St. Louis, MO, died when the driver of the vehicle in which he was a passenger lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle struck a curb, overturned, and struck an iron fence. The crash occurred on Broadway Street in St. Louis, MO. Dr. Marco Quispe, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, pronounced Bellchris dead later at the hospital. The driver sustained serious injuries in the crash. Seat belt use is unknown. St. Louis Police Department investigated this traffic crash.
Mason Kyle L. Cunningham, 21, of Warrensburg, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving crossed the center line and struck an oncoming vehicle head-on. The crash occurred on U.S. Highway 50 west of Missouri Highway 87 in Moniteau County. Cunningham was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Moniteau County Coroner Loyd Fulks pronounced Cunningham dead at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle sustained minor injuries; he was wearing a seat belt.
Vernon W. Miller, 45, of Peculiar, MO, died when the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) he was driving failed to negotiate a curve; he then over corrected. The ATV overturned several times, ejecting the driver, who was not wearing a helmet. The crash occurred on 231st Street in Belton, MO, which is in Cass County.
Donald H. Jenson, 53, of Marionville, MO, died when the motorcycle he was driving ran off the roadway, struck an embankment, and overturned. The crash occurred on U.S. Highway 60 at Verona, MO, in Lawrence County. Jenson was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and was ejected from the vehicle. Lawrence County Coroner Scott Lakin pronounced Jenson dead at the scene.
NOTE: The fatality statistics in this news release could change if late deaths occur, if other departments report fatal traffic crashes after this news release was sent out, or if a fatality is determined to be caused by a medical rather than traffic incident.