STARK CITY, Missouri- Three children from Neosho are dead after a semi-involved crash and other individuals seriously injured on MO Hwy 86 east of Stark City. The accident happened Tuesday evening.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says Eric Verde, 7, Benjamin Verde, 4, and Isaac Verde, 2, were pronounced deceased by the deputy Newton County coroner. The driver of the car, Leticia Verde, 32, was taken to Mercy Hospital in Joplin hospital for treatment of moderate injuries. The 4 year-old was riding unrestrained in the car at the time of the crash. The deceased were transported to Parker Mortuary.
Troopers say an eastbound Peterbilt rig operated by Stephen Schaffer, 53, of Sarcoxie struck the Verde SUV causing it to lose control and cross the centerline of the two-lane roadway. A Chevy Tahoe driven by Michael Stephens, 38. of Fairview, Missouri then struck the Verde vehicle in the side in the opposite lane. The patrol says the Chevy Traverse with the Verde children came to rest after overturning.
Five occupants in the Stephens vehicle were airlifted to Mercy Hospital following the crash. They are listed as Shawna Campbell -age unknown, Presley Darby-age unknown, Bentley Stephens- age unknown, and Harley Stephens-15. All were listed in serious condition. Michael Stephens was driven by ambulance for care of moderate injuries. Nobody was wearing seatbelts in the vehicle according to the report.
Troopers responded at 6:40 pm. The major crash team was also deployed to investigate the scene.