26-year-old Lee’s Summit bride-to-be killed in crash on way to bachelorette party

MORGAN COUNTY, Mo. – Friends and family are struggling over the death of a Lee’s Summit mother, killed in a car accident on the way to her bachelorette party Friday, when the vehicle she was in riding in struck another head-on.

Collette M. Moreno, 26, was the passenger of a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, which was traveling southbound on Missouri Highway 5 near Prairie Valley Road on the way to the Lake of the Ozarks, where her bachelorette party was set to take place.

Collette Moreno, 26

Collette Moreno, 26

Collette’s best friend and maid of honor was driving the Malibu. She says they were listening to Taylor Swift and recalls Collette was coughing from the exhaust fumes coming from the truck they were following.

“She has really bad asthma and there were a few trucks in front of us that had really bad exhausts and she was coughing, so I was like okay we have to pass these,” said Ashley Theobald, 26, her best friend.

Theobald said they both checked to see if it was clear and decided to pass the truck.

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol’s accident report, shortly before 3 p.m. on Friday the Malibu attempted to pass another vehicle at the same time a 25-year-old male driver in a 1999 Dodge Ram pickup truck heading northbound was cresting a hill.

The two vehicles attempted to swerve out of each other’s way to avoid collision; however the truck still ended up striking the passenger side of the Malibu, sending the vehicle off the left side of the road. The Dodge traveled off the right side after impact.

“A truck was coming at us and I swerved and the truck swerved with me,” said Theobald.

Moreno, who had been wearing her seatbelt, was taken to University Hospital in Columbia where she was later pronounced dead from her injuries shortly after 5:30 p.m.

“I was talking to her. She couldn’t talk back but she was nodding at me,” Theobald said. “I didn’t know it was as bad as it was because she wasn’t physically super beaten-up.”

As soon as Collette’s fiance, Jesse Arcobasso, 28, heard about the accident, he hopped into his car to drive to the hospital.

“I was just trying to hold on to the fact that she was going to be okay,” said Jesse Arcobasso.

Jesse and Collette’s wedding day was set for July 26 in Jamaica.

Collette leaves a five-year-old son.

The driver of the Dodge was not injured in the crash. Theobald was taken to the hospital and treated for only minor injuries.

“Complete shock. It wasn’t real,” said Collette’s mother on Monday, as she recalled hearing the news. “It felt like a messed-up dream and I needed to wake up from it. And I just couldn’t believe it. I still can’t.”

A memorial fund account has been established at Bank of the West.
For donations, the family asks that you make checks payable to:

Collette Moreno-Arcobasso Memorial Fund
CMA Memorial Fund
229 S.E. Topaz Drive
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063

Additionally, a special fundraiser is planned on Friday, July 11 at Deavers Restaurant and Sports Bar, 2109 Charbonier Rd., in Florissant, Mo. Twenty per cent of sales between 11 a.m. and 1 a.m. will be given to the fund. There will also be an auction and raffles to raise money.

Additional video:


  • Brandi Hogan

    It is totally beyond sad and heart wrenching that this tragedy accrued. My thoughts and prayers to the family and friends. My heart pours out for them. A life taken too soon. May the angels watch over the little boy.

    • Ben

      Why on earth would the little boy and fiancé be feeling the blame? There is only one person who is at fault and that should be obvious to all. Very sad to hear about this senseless accident.

      • Really?

        I know the sentence that you responded to isn’t the best, grammatically. But if you really cant decipher what the writer was saying, then you might be stupid.

      • Ben

        Why is it that, day after day, we read about people doing stupid things and other “do gooders” who come to their defense and are quick to forgive their fatal mistake? It is very possible that the family, of the young lady who died, may not be so forgiving as some of you politically appropriate/correct people on here who have no personal emotion in this tragedy. There are consequences to these mistakes; but if you keep defending their stupid mistakes, people are bound to repeat them. Thus, we need a no tolerance policy to texting and passing on hills among other things that we know can result in death. We all know the dangers and if that were my daughter, I would be mad as hell that she is no longer here. It makes no difference if it is a mother who fails to watch her kids at the pool, a man who runs from the police or someone who tries to pass another on a hill. If a death results, blame should be place squarely where it belongs so other people get the message. We have to live with the consequences of people’s actions and listen to their lame excuses; but I don’t have to accept them. Some of the defenders on here, who think they are so smart because they are also sympathetic, should learn to write a grammatically correct sentence before they expect someone, who is actually very well educated, to take what they have to say with more than a grain of salt. Besides, being sympathetic to the pathetic doesn’t mean you are smart. This is America and the education is free so why are so many people not even smart enough to take advantage of that. Maybe we should write “Food Pantry” on the school door. They always get a good turn out from those who are most in need of a bit more education.

      • Really?

        Ben- The story doesn’t say a single word about texting being the reason that they were in that accident. If people like you would take the time to read the story instead of immediately dropping to the comments so that you can $h!t all over the people involved, then there wouldn’t be a problem. Please.. Tell us again how smart you are.

      • Ben

        Really???? I am quite aware that texting wasn’t mentioned in the article. Running from the police and a child drowning in a pool wasn’t mentioned either but were used as examples of dumb things that get people killed. Your comment is a perfect example of people attempting to shows some “smarts” but not able to pull it off. Everyone else knew what I meant so I guess that makes you a real dumbas.

      • Really?

        You really think that casting judgments on Fox 4 message boards is the way to prevent these things from happening again? Get real. You have no idea of the pain and hurt that this girl will have to live with for the rest of her life. That’s way more punishment than any prison sentence can hold. This was her best friend. Not an acquaintance. But by all means, keep turning that dagger if it makes you feel better.
        “There are consequences to these mistakes; but if you keep defending their stupid mistakes, people are bound to repeat them. Thus, we need a no tolerance policy to texting and passing on hills among other things that we know can result in death.” That’s word for word what you wrote. Implying that texting while passing on hills is what resulted in this woman’s death. You can twist it however you want it to, but its not until two sentences later and a subject change, that you name other examples.

      • Ben

        Really? Because you were not able to understand my message the first time around, why is that my fault? You keep focusing on the pain the driver will suffer but you don’t seem to realize that the family who lost their daughter and the fiancé who lost his fiancé are going to suffer in a whole different and even deeper way. Let’s see if you would be so empathetic with the driver if that were you daughter. The driver of the other truck has now been involved in an fatal accident and will undoubtedly suffer for a different set of reasons. His family has been affected, too. You are a fool beyond help.

      • Wow

        Ben: Wow you’re dumb. After reading all your comments, I think you know you are too. Reading comprehension might do you some good.

      • anne

        well….I have to agree with Ben here on many points, not all but many. I get pretty tired of the free pass going to the person behind the wheel who caused the accident just because she has to ‘live with her guilt’. Sure, that will be torture. But, if her dumb mistake killed my daughter, I’d need more than that. I found it interesting that she was quick to add that they BOTH looked to see that there was nothing was coming. Bull. The passenger can’t see around too large trucks. And if her friend has bad asthma and can’t breath, why isn’t she circulating air in the car instead of pulling in the fumes from the outside….such as the trucks fumes? And perhaps she was following awfully close. As I was reading this I was thinking, I’ve been on those roads. with two large trucks in front of you, you slow down, and be patient and wait for your opportunity to pass or for a passing lane to come up. I just think she certainly was eager to ‘share’ the blame with her best friend who didn’t make it. I’m sure the loss is painful for this girl, but she alone caused it. period. And she should be held accountable.

      • DC

        Well said Anne! I was waiting for someone to bring up the point about both looking to see if they could pass and I say bull, too.

      • Ben

        DC: I pointed out 3 excuses by the driver and one of them was that she said they “both” looked. Perhaps you missed it but it did jump out at me. As for Wow, or maybe we should say Bow Wow, I would gladly match you in a reading and comprehension quiz. Funny that you thought I am really dumb but the next poster saw some merit to many, but not all, of my comments. Thanks for the support.

  • bear

    You should never pass a car on a hill, shut your vents! This could of all been prevented take a taxi don’t let your friends drive you. RIP what a sad story take a mother away from there kid, shame.

  • Barb

    Not too cool to be taking a selfie while someone else is driving. I am so sorry for all involved in this senseless tragedy. It never should have happened at all. I agree with Bear, never never pass on a hill……please drive carefully people. It only takes a second to make a wrong move that will last a lifetime.

    • Ben

      Kris: I am not your sweetie. I never have been and never will be your sweetie so if you want to talk to me, keep it real. I read the article and I read the comments. The driver probably is suffering from losing a friend but I didn’t get that from the story. What I heard were excuses: 1)She has asthma so I HAD to pass 2) we BOTH looked to make sure it was clear to pass 3) I swerved BUT the truck swerved the same way (so maybe it is the truck drivers fault?) etc. I didn’t hear sadness. I heard excuses.

    • Ben

      Kris: I hope the driver is carrying as much guilt and regret as you suggest. She should feel guilty so she will think hard and long the next time she is tempted to do something reckless. People like you, who try to ease her pain, are actually enabling her to go out and continue doing dumb things. If that makes you feel better, good for you.

      • Really?

        Again, how is using this message board to tell someone you have never met how stupid she was in that instance, supposed to benefit anyone but you?

    • Ben

      Why don’t you hold your opinions to yourself and who is preventing this family from grieving? Many of us are grieving with them. We just aren’t so sympathetic with the careless driver.

      • Sorry for your loss!

        Ben- You’re an idiot with a keyboard. I think I can speak for the majority of people who look at this site and tell you that if anyone needs to hold their opinions, its you. Not only do consistently spout off terrible opinion after opinion, but now you’re pointing blame at a girl who just lost her best friend? What a miserable life you must lead. Here’s hoping that things get better for you in the future, you insensitive F#$&

      • Don

        You say “Now you’re pointing blame at a girl who just lost her best friend”, Yes, because that is exactly the one and ONLY place the blame lies! Face reality, that’s what happened! The driver’s actions and poor decision just killed her best friend and endangered other motorists on the road too. It’s very lucky the driver of the oncoming truck was not killed or badly injured as well. It wasn’t an “accident”, it was a deliberate choice by the driver to ignore basic driving rules and common sense. And that is who the blame SHOULD be pointed at!

  • Charley...

    I did not know Collette, but I pulled up to the scene just right after the accident. I went over to the passenger side and attempt to help the passenger. I asked the driver what the young lady name was. She told me her name was Collette. I touched Colette arm and told her help was on the way. I asked Collette if she could hear me and if so to nod her head and she did. I continued to talk to Collette, at which time I said a pray for her while touching her arm. I continued to hold on to Collect arm and talk to her until Missouri Highway Patrol and Fire/Rescue arrived at the scene. To Collette’s family and friends I feel sadden for your loss and we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Kat

    I noticed on the police report that the maid of honor didn’t have auto insurance. Isn’t that illegal? Isn’t passing on a hill reckless driving? The list goes on and on…

    She should have had at least three citations out of this accident.

    • Ben

      KAT: Thanks for the additional info. It just goes to show that some people make one bad decision after another. Until they have to answer to those they hurt, kill or offend, they will continue being stuck on stupid. That is why we have laws and breaking those laws have consequences. It is the consequences that make people think twice before doing something they know is foolish or risky again.

    • TDH

      FYI and just to put a halt to your accusations – apparently the reason it says “None” is because they couldn’t get into the glove box to retrieve the info. Continue to read whatever you want without thinking about maybe there’s more to the story. You can believe there are people doing the same about you. I’m sitting here guessing that some of you posting on here were either raised by the most black-hearted parents, were neglected in some way, etc. There’s got to be a reason for your judge-mentality for you all to use an excuse.

  • Christine

    And why aren’t vehicular homicide charges being brought up against the driver?! Oh yeah, because she’s young and pretty. I forgot. She gets to get away with murder.

  • Andre Muniz

    I lost some friends of mine in a crash like this. I think we need to be more careful when we´re driiving a car. People have only one life. I agree with Been that we need to be hard qith people that dont have enough careful.

  • Nick

    Label me insensitive too! The girls were in a hurry to go get drunk and party. NEVER PASS ON A HILL! For another two cents I will say STOP TAKING THE STUPID A$$ SELFIES NARCISSISTIC PEOPLE!

  • Ben

    Is it odd that nobody has even mentioned the truck driver? He could have lost his life. We know that he wasn’t injured but his life has changed. The stress his family is going through and the burden he must carry knowing he was involved in a fatal crash must be heavy even though it wasn’t his fault. Nonetheless, he still isn’t able to forget what happened or go on with his life without the burden of knowing that someone died needlessly. He too is an innocent victim. My prayers go to him and his family as well.


    É muito triste, uma garota com um sorriso maravilho e cheio de vida morra assim. Um dia a segurança dos automóveis vão mudar e salvar muitas vidas este dia vai chegar, um exemplo na F1 precisou o ayrton Senna morrer para que haja investimento !!

  • Bear

    It don’t matter what anyone says, it don’t matter if it was her friend or not she killed her because of her wreck less driving, if she wasn’t in a hurry that mother and wife would be here today. We all need forgiveness ian all but she is at fault for what she did and should be charged with something. So if I was driving with my friend and I crashed and killed them I shouldn’t be charged heck yeah I should because I was behind the wheel I’m responsible for everyone in that car.

  • bobthebobthex2

    why is the driver of the car being painted as an innocent victim? she should be charged with manslaughter. does it look like she is paying attention to the road in that selfie? when you pass a semi on a hill at a bend in the road with a double solid line YOU are 100% responsible for the accident that happens. period. the driver got her friend killed. it’s as simple as that.

  • Joe Seijo

    DON’T PASS ON THE BOTTOM OF HILL THAT YOU’RE APPROACHING! There’s a reason for the double yellow line. Please teach your teenage children how to drive properly before handing them the keys to a car. If not, they’ll grow up to be drivers like Ms. Theobald. Her incompetence and poor driving skills killed this beautiful bride-to-be.

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  • Kris

    Ben, sweetie obviously your not a very smart man. Did you read the tragic accident ? The driver was the maid of honor there for im sure she is suffering the tragic lost of a great friend. Your are very irresponsible and apparently not very educated if you can not put two and two together. Best of luck with you

  • Likes to drive.

    Geez.. You don’t like to drive? Well you don’t like to read either.. Good Lord! Maybe a good Christian or two will find enough mercy to pray for your stupid, illiterate brain.

  • quippyvirgo

    Good Christian? Intelligent Christian? Surely you’re joking!

    Yes, can you tell me the most DANGEROUS form of transportation Corky? Of course you can’t! You’re too busy compensating for a tiny cock to know how dangerous it is. Maybe you should consider reading a book besides the bible, dumbass! When you live in BIG cities, driving ons necessary and isn’t missed! I protect my own life as it is the only one I have. I don’t wait for some invisible sky daddy to take me home. If you had any sense, you’d rethink your position, and your idiotic post.

  • Owns a Car.

    LOL.. what a loser! Compare brains? Who’s compensating now? The real difference between you and me QV, is that I can afford a car. Just think of me next time you strap those worn out New Balance shoes to your size 8’s. Good luck doosh!

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