Tragic summary: Nine crashes kill 14 people in Missouri over holiday weekend

Fatal crash

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Missouri Highway Patrol reports there were nine more fatalities over the Independence Day holiday in 2017 than in 2016.

Fourteen people died in traffic crashes from 6 p.m. Friday, June 30th until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4th, compared to five deaths in 2016.

June 30th:

The first fatality of the holiday weekend was on a golf cart. The victim, Sherwen S. Sanders, 51, of Centralia, Mo., fell off the cart and hit his head.

July 1st:

There were no fatalities on July 1st.

July 2nd:

One person, Johnny O. Riley, 26, of Lilbourn, Mo., died in a motorcycle crash. In a separate crash, two people, Dalton T. Horn, 18, of Exeter, Mo., and Alex W. Brannum, 29, of Russellville, Ala., both died when their Yamaha dirt bikes collided.  The crash occurred in Rocky Comfort, Mo. None of these three victims was wearing a helmet.

July 3rd:

A Utility Task Vehicle (UTV) crash in Morgan County killed Martin E. Callaghan, 57, of Versailles, MO. A separate motorcycle crash killed the second victim, Chet F. Pullen, 55, of Park Hills, MO.  He was ejected from his motorcycle when he was struck by a vehicle.  Pullen was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash in Ellington, Mo.

July 4th:

Eight people died in four crashes:

  • 3 died in a one-car crash-Alex M. Ashlin, 18, of Neosho, Mo., Janet M. Ducommun, 67, of Neosho, M., and Ronni J. Ducommun, 32, of Wentzville, Mo., died when the vehicle in which Ashlin was a passenger crossed the center line and struck the Ducommun vehicle head on. Ashlin was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Both Janet and Ronni Ducommun were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Newton County on Missouri Route V, three miles south of Joplin, Mo.
  • 1 died in a single car crash-Michael P. McClure, 53, of Perryville, Mo., died when the pickup he was driving traveled off the left side of the roadway and struck a tree. McClure was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Perry County on Missouri Highway 61 North.
  • 1 died in a single car crash-Gordon R. King, 59, of Berwyn, Ill., died when he swerved to avoid a collision, ran off the left side of the roadway, and struck a ditch and utility pole after the car ahead of him slowed to make a left turn. King was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Stone County on Missouri Highway 13 in Lampe, Mo.
  • 3 died when they were hit while parked on side of road-Tiffani D. Santana, 32, Pheonix Santana, age unknown, and Jack S. Venneman, 2, all of Adrian, Mo., died when a vehicle struck them and their vehicle, which was parked on the shoulder of the roadway. The driver of the vehicle that struck them was not injured in the crash. Debris from the crash also struck a third vehicle, which was on the shoulder. Dunklin County Coroner James Powell pronounced all three people dead at the scene. The crash occurred in Dunklin County on Missouri Route MM south of the Stoddard County line.

In Kansas,  no fatal crashes were worked during the Independence Day holiday reporting period. In 2016, there was one fatality during the reporting period.

“I am thankful we avoided the needless loss of any lives over the holiday,” said Colonel Mark Bruce, KHP Superintendent.