PLATTE CITY, Mo. — Police say they suspect distracted driving was behind the Friday afternoon crash that killed three people.
James W. Wilson, 54, and his wife Lisa R. Wilson, 44, both of Effingham, Kan., and Lisa’s mother Carol E. Wehking, 75, of Lancaster, Kan. died after their SUV, stopped in traffic on Interstate 29, was rear-ended by a pickup truck traveling at full highway speed. The impact sent their vehicle into the back of the semi in front of them.
All three died at the scene, despite all of them wearing seat belts. The 71-year-old driver of the pickup truck was hospitalized in serious condition, while a 40-year-old occupant in the truck suffered minor injuries.
“When we are driving out here, we need to do one thing and that’s pay attention,” Sgt. Bill Lowe with Missouri State Highway Patrol said Friday.
Sgt. Lowe said crash investigators have not determined a cause, but distracted driving is suspected. Even as officers were along the highway working this wreck, Lowe said they saw people doing the very thing they believe might have caused it.
“It’s frustrating. And then when you’re seeing traffic going by and the drivers are on their cell phones, trying to take pictures, trying to do whatever on their cell phones, that becomes an even more of a big frustration,” Lowe explained.
Atchison County Community Schools said they will cancel afternoon classes on Thursday to accommodate a memorial service for James, Lisa, and Carol.
Becker – Dyer – Stanton funeral home has requested use of our facility to provide services for the three deceased family members as well as accommodate the large number of family, friends, and community members they are expecting to attend.
On behalf of the district and school board, we understand the devastating effect this has had on our entire community and how important it is for the district to be depended on in a time of need.
Stephen E Wiseman
USD 377, Superintendent of Schools
Becker-Dyer-Stanton Funeral Home’s website says the memorial service for James, Lisa, and Carol is planned for Thursday at 2 p.m. at Atchison County Community High School gymnasium in Effingham, Kan. Lisa and James are to be interred at Brush Creek Cemetery in Kennekuk, Kan. and Carol is set to for interment at Old Huron Cemetery in Lancaster.