JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri- The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports 14 people died in traffic crashes, no one died in a boating crash, and zero drownings during the 2017 July Fourth holiday counting period. The counting period began at 6 p.m., Friday, June 30, 2017, and ended at 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, July 4, 2017. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports the following:
2017 July Fourth Holiday Traffic Statistics
Crashes ─ 494
Injuries ─ 186
Fatalities ─ 14
DWI ─ 172
Drug Arrests ─ 118
2017 July Fourth Holiday Boating Statistics
Crashes ─ 7
Injuries ─ 4
Fatals ─ 0
Drownings ─ 0
BWI ─ 23
Drug Arrests ─ 33
In 2016, five people were killed and 565 injured in Missouri over the holiday in 1,370 traffic crashes. [The Missouri State Highway Patrol worked 397 traffic crashes that year.] Over the 2016 July Fourth holiday, troopers arrested 121 people for driving while intoxicated. Troopers investigated 11 boating crashes including 6 injuries and zero fatalities during the 2016 July Fourth holiday weekend. No one drowned during last year’s holiday. Troopers arrested 11 people for boating while intoxicated over the 2016 July Fourth holiday. In 2016, troopers also made 122 drug arrests during the July Fourth Holiday.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated all 14 of the fatal traffic crashes occurring within the 2017 July Fourth counting period.
One traffic fatality occurred in both the Troop C, Weldon Spring, MO, area and the Troop G, Willow Springs, MO, area. Four traffic fatalities occurred in the Troop E, Poplar Bluff, MO, area. Two traffic fatalities occurred in the Troop F, Jefferson City, MO, area. Six traffic fatalities occurred in the Troop D, Springfield, MO, area.
One person died during the counting period on Friday, June 30, 2017. Sherwen S. Sanders, 51, of Centralia, MO, died when he fell off the passenger side of the golf cart upon which he was a passenger. Sanders struck his head in the fall. Dr. J. Litt pronounced Sanders dead at University Hospital. The fatality occurred in Boone County on Allen Street approximately 14 feet north of Wilson Street in Centralia, MO.
There were no traffic fatalities on Saturday, July 1, 2017.
Three people died in traffic crashes on Sunday, July 2, 2017. Johnny O. Riley, 26, of Lilbourn, MO, died when the motorcycle he was operating failed to negotiate a curve and ran off the left side of the roadway. Riley was ejected from the motorcycle. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The fatality occurred on the Missouri Highway 158 off ramp onto U.S. Highway 67.
Dalton T. Horn, 18, of Exeter, MO, and Alex W. Brannum, 29, of Russellville, AL, both died when their Yamaha dirt bikes collided. Neither Horn nor Brannum were wearing a helmet. Dr. Buchele pronounced Horn and Brannum dead at Freeman West Hospital. The crash occurred in McDonald County on Layton Hollow Road four miles south of Rocky Comfort, MO.
Two people died on Monday, July 3, 2017. Martin E. Callaghan, 57, of Versailles, MO, died when the UTV he was operating crossed the center line, traveled off the left side of the roadway, struck a bridge support, and slid down an embankment. Callaghan was ejected from the UTV. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Dr. M.B. Jones, Morgan County coroner, pronounced Callaghan dead at the scene. The fatal crash occurred in Morgan County on Lake Road W-1, south of Fresno Road.
Chet F. Pullen, 55, of Park Hills, MO, died when the motorcycle he was operating was struck by a vehicle. Pullen was ejected from the motorcycle. Pullen was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. County Coroner Jeff McSpadden pronounced Pullen dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle that struck Pullen’s motorcycle was not injured in the crash. The fatality crash occurred in Reynolds County on Missouri Highway & and Missouri Highway 21 in Ellington, MO.
Eight people died in traffic crashes on Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Alex M. Ashlin, 18, of Neosho, MO; Janet M. Ducommun, 67, of Neosho, MO; 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. Newton County Coroner Jerry Deems pronounced all three fatalities at the scene of the crash. The driver of the vehicle that crossed the center line sustained serious injuries; he was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Newton County on Missouri Route V, three miles south of Joplin, MO.
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. Perry County Coroner Bill Bohnert pronounced McClure deceased. The crash occurred in Perry County on Missouri Highway 61 North.
Gordon R. King, 59, of Berwyn, IL, 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. Dr. Joseph Jones at Mercy Hospital pronounced King dead. The crash occurred in Stone County on Missouri Highway 13 in Lampe, MO.
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.
NOTE: The fatality statistics in this news release could change if late deaths occur, if other departments report fatal traffic crashes 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.