The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.


Published January 5, 2022

Lake area man one of eight deaths over holiday

JEFFERSON CITY – A lake area man is one of eight fatalities that occurred over the Christmas counting period for Missouri.

As this newspaper reported last week, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) on Friday, December 24 at 1:50 p.m. on Greenview Drive near Hermit Holler, Kenneth Mustain, 57, of Camdenton, MO, was traveling west when the 2003 Polaris Scrambler he was driving went off the right side of the road, overturned and ejected Mustain.

At the time he was listed as having sustained moderate injuries and he was taken to Lake Regional Hospital by ambulance.

The injuries, however, were worse than appeared. At 1:08 p.m. on December 25, he was pronounced dead by Dr. Barnes at University of Missouri Hospital. The MSHP said he was not wearing a safety device when the accident occurred.

Along with Mustain, seven others died in traffic crashes during the 78-hour counting period, which began at 6 p.m. Thursday, December 23, 2021, and ended at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, December 26, 2021.

During the 2021 Christmas Holiday period, State Troopers investigated the following:

Traffic Crashes - 310
Traffic Crash Injuries - 92
Traffic Crash Fatalities - 4
DWI  - 67

Last year during the 78-hour Christmas counting period, there were 746 traffic crashes statewide. In those crashes, 10 people were killed and another 10 were injured.

During the 2020 Christmas holiday, troopers investigated 307 traffic crashes which included all 10 fatalities and 86 injuries. Troopers arrested 62 people for driving while impaired in 2020.

There were no boating crashes or drownings over the 2021 Christmas holiday counting period. Of the four fatality traffic crashes investigated by troopers, two occurred in the Troop C, Weldon Spring, MO, area and two occurred in the Troop F, Jefferson City, MO, area.

The remaining four fatalities were investigated by Kansas City Police Department, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Overland (MO) Police Department, and Wentzville (MO) Police Department.

There were no traffic fatalities on Thursday, December 23, 2021, during the holiday counting period.

There were five traffic fatalities on Friday, December 24, 2021 (Mustain was one of those).

Zachary M. Sutton, 32, of De Soto, MO, died when the vehicle he was operating crossed the center line and struck a pickup truck head-on.

Sutton was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.

The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 28 one mile west of Missouri Route A in Osage County.

Osage County Coroner A.J. Probst pronounced Sutton deceased at the scene. The driver of the pickup truck sustained moderate injuries in the crash. He also was wearing a seat belt.

Cesar Estrada-Lopez, 18, of Bridgeton, MO, died when the motorcycle he was operating struck the rear of a vehicle and he was ejected onto the highway.

The MSHP said Estrada-Lopez was traveling at an excessive speed and following too close to the rear of a 2019 Dodge Journey.

A third vehicle (a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado) swerved to avoid striking the motorcycle and struck Estrada-Lopez.

Estrada-Lopez was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The crash occurred on Interstate 70 west of North Lindbergh Boulevard in St. Louis County.

Dr. Schwartz pronounced Estrada-Lopez deceased at SSM Health DePaul Hospital. Neither of the other two drivers involved in the crash were injured. They were both wearing a seat belt.

Zachary M. Ward, 28, of Kansas City, MO, died when he lost control of the vehicle he was driving while taking an exit.

The vehicle struck a guardrail, went off the roadway, traveled down an embankment and overturned multiple times. Ward was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected.

The crash occurred at the exit for Shoal Creek Parkway on U.S. Highway 169 in Clay County. Officers with the Kansas City Police Department handled the investigation.

A pedestrian was struck and killed in the vicinity of West Florissant and Thrush Avenue in St. Louis, MO.

Officers with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department are investigating. No further details are available.

There were two traffic fatalities on Christmas Day, December 25, 2021.

A pedestrian was struck and killed at Midland Boulevard and Woodson Road in St. Louis County. Officers with the Overland Police Department are investigating. No further details are available.

A fatal crash involving a motorcycle occurred on David Hoekel Parkway over Interstate 70 in St. Charles County. Officers from the Wentzville Police Department are investigating. No further details are available.

There was one traffic fatality on Sunday, December 26, 2021.

Amy L. Veit, 37, of Lonedell, MO, died when her vehicle traveled partially off the right side of the roadway and she overcorrected.

Her vehicle began skidding, traveled across the center of the roadway and rotated counter clockwise striking the front of another vehicle. Veit was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
The crash occurred on Missouri Route H east of Dry Creek Road in Jefferson County.

Valle Ambulance District personnel pronounced Veit deceased at the scene. The driver and a passenger in the other vehicle sustained minor injuries. They were wearing their seat belts.

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