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 July 17, 2019

Lake drowning one of three in state over July 4 holiday period


(Editorís note: This drowning incident was not available at press time for the July 10 edition).

LAKE OF THE OZARKS - The final day of the July 4 holiday period saw the only fatality on the water.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday July 7, at the 56 Mile Marker of the Osage Arm in Morgan County, David Crouse, 57, of Stover, MO was attempting to retrieve a vessel that had gone adrift.

The MSHP said he attempted to swim to the vessel and drowned in the process. He was not wearing a safety device. This drowning was one of three that occurred statewide over the holiday period, which began at 6 p.m., Wednesday, July 3, to 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 7, 2019.

The other drownings were:

On July 5, 2019, Rebecca L. Feese, 33, of Warsaw, MO, drowned when she attempted to wade across a low water crossing and was swept downstream.

The incident occurred in Benton County on Balke Road at Truman Lake.

It is unknown whether Feese was wearing a life jacket. Dr. Olmstead pronounced Feese dead at Bothwell Hospital.

The third drowning over the holiday weekend occurred on July 7, 2019, in the St. Francis River. No further information is available pending notification of next of kin.

Statewide on the roads there were 12 fatalities. There were no fatalities on the roads in Camden, Miller or Morgan Counties.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated nine fatal traffic crashes occurring within the 2019 July Fourth counting period.

The Belton Police Department, Springfield Police Department and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department each investigated one fatality.

There were no fatalities on Wednesday, July 3, or Thursday, July 4, 2019, during the counting period.

Two people died in traffic crashes on Friday, July 5, 2019.

Kristen M. Yeager, 47, of Independence, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving crossed the center line, he overcorrected and lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle then traveled across the lanes of traffic, continued off the left side of the roadway, and overturned before coming to rest.

The crash occurred in Cass County, on Missouri Route D near 223rd Street. Yeager was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

The second fatal traffic crash on July 5 occurred in St. Louis County. No further information is available pending the notification of next of kin.

Six people died in traffic crashes on Saturday, July 6, 2019.

Leslie W. Bullow, 69, of Clarkton, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving ran off the right side of the roadway, returned to the roadway at which time he overcorrected and the vehicle overturned.

The crash occurred in Dunklin County on Missouri Highway 25 north of Clarkton.

Dunklin County Coroner James Powell pronounced Bullow dead at the scene. Bullow was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Van V. Stephenson, 11, died when the vehicle in which he was a passenger traveled off the left side of the roadway, struck an embankment, and began overturning before coming to rest on its top in the median.

The crash occurred in Perry County on Interstate 55 south of Missouri Route M.

Perry County Coroner William Bohnert pronounced Stephenson dead at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

The driver of the vehicle sustained moderate injuries; he was wearing a seat belt.

Three other passengers in the vehicle sustained serious injuries in the crash; they were not wearing seat belts. The remaining two passengers sustained minor injuries; it is unknown whether they were wearing seat belts.

Doris A. Herndez-Barrios, 55, of Noel, MO, died when the vehicle she was driving crossed the center line and struck another vehicle head on.

The crash occurred in McDonald County on Missouri Highway 90 south of Noel.

McDonald County Deputy Coroner Jonathan Fletcher pronounced Herndez-Barrios dead at the scene; she was not wearing a seat belt.

The driver of the other vehicle sustained moderate injuries; he also was not wearing a seat belt.

Michael K. Orr, 44, of Warsaw, MO, died when the vehicle in which he was a passenger failed to negotiate a curve to the left and ran off the right side of the roadway. The vehicle then struck a warning sign and three trees.

The crash occurred in Benton County on Missouri Route BB at Allen Road.

Benton County Coroner Weston Miller pronounced Orr dead at the scene. Orr was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

The driver of the vehicle sustained serious injuries; he also was not wearing a seat belt.

Malcolm W. Smith, 35, of Slater, MO, died when the utility vehicle he was operating began sliding, crossed center lane, traveled off the roadway, and overturned several times.

The crash occurred in Saline County on Missouri Route A/C south of Missouri Route P.

Saline County Coroner William Harlow pronounced Smith dead at the scene. Smith was not wearing a seat belt.

Joshua Lee Jiles, 33, of Springfield, MO, died when the motorcycle he was operating struck a vehicle turning west onto westbound Kearney from northbound Concord in Springfield.

Jiles was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The crash occurred in Springfield, MO, and is being investigated by the Springfield Police Department.

Four people died on Sunday, July 7, 2019.

Robert L. Wright, 46, of Sullivan, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving traveled off the left side of the roadway, returned to the roadway and Wright overcorrected.

The vehicle then traveled off the right side of the roadway, struck a sign, and overturned.

The crash occurred in Franklin County on Interstate 44 east of the 225-mile marker. Missouri Baptist Ambulance personnel pronounced Wright dead at the scene.

Wright was not wearing a seat belt.

John R. Smith, 47, of Byrnes Mill, MO, died when the motorcycle he was operating traveled off the right side of the roadway and he was ejected. The crash occurred in Jefferson County on Missouri Highway 30, west of Old Gravois Road.

A North Jefferson County Ambulance District paramedic pronounced Smith dead at the scene. Smith was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

One fatality is being investigated by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. No further details are available.

Peggy Jones, 84, died at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, MO, after being in a traffic crash on Missouri Route Y near E. South Avenue in Belton, MO.

The crash occurred when her vehicle left the roadway and struck a telephone pole. The Belton Police Department investigated the crash.

2019 July Fourth Holiday Boating Statistics

Troopers worked 11 boating crashes, which included five injuries and zero fatalities.

Troopers made 12 Boating While Intoxicated arrests and 28 drug arrests. There were three drownings over the holiday weekend.

During the 30-hour counting period in 2018, four people were killed and 220 injured statewide in Missouri over the holiday in 437 traffic crashes. Over the 2018 July Fourth holiday, troopers arrested 40 people for driving while intoxicated.

Note that the fatality statistics could change if late deaths occur, if other departments report fatalities after this news release was sent out, or if a fatality is determined to be caused by a medical condition rather than a traffic incident

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