JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri- The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports nine people died in traffic crashes during this year’s Thanksgiving holiday counting period–from 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 21, 2018, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 25, 2018. The Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated the following:

2018 Thanksgiving Holiday Traffic Statistics

Crashes ─ 587
Injuries ─ 108
Fatalities ─ 9
DWI ─ 86
Drug Arrests ─ 67

[During the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday counting period, troopers investigated 400 traffic crashes, which included 116 injuries. Statewide, 17 people died and 555 people were injured in 1,364 traffic crashes over last year’s Thanksgiving holiday. Troopers arrested 127 people for driving while intoxicated and made 117 drug arrests during the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday counting period.]

Of the nine traffic crash fatalities troopers investigated, one fatality occurred in each of the following areas: Troop A, Lee’s Summit area, Troop D, Springfield area; Troop F, Jefferson City area, Troop G, Willow Springs area, and Troop H, St. Joseph area. Four fatalities occurred in the Troop C, Weldon Spring area.

Three people died in fatal traffic crashes on Wednesday, November 21, 2018. Jessica M. Kremer, 33, of Pacific, MO, died when an oncoming vehicle crossed into her lane, striking the front of the vehicle she was driving. The crash occurred on Missouri Route 66 east of South Fox Creek Road in St. Louis County. Kremer was pronounced dead at the scene by a Eureka Fire Protection District EMT. Both Kremer and the other driver were wearing seat belts. The driver of the other vehicle sustained serious injuries in the crash.

Larry K. Whittet, 60, of Shawnee, KS, died when the vehicle he was driving and another vehicle collided. Whittet’s vehicle began skidding, then traveled off the west side of the roadway, struck an embankment, and overturned. The other vehicle skidded to a stop in the roadway before leaving the scene. The crash occurred on Interstate 29 at the 48.8-mile marker in Buchanan County. Nurse Practitioner Stacy Biller pronounced Whittet dead at Mosaic Life Care. Whittet was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department and Buchanan County EMS also responded to the scene.

Michael L. Allbright, 51, of Fredericktown, MO, died after he entered the path of a vehicle. Allbright was a pedestrian at the time of the crash. The crash occurred on westbound Interstate 70 on the off ramp to Missouri Route K in St. Charles County. St. Charles County Ambulance personnel pronounced Allbright dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle that struck Allbright was not injured; he was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

No one died in a traffic crash on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22, 2018.

Three people died in fatal traffic crashes on Friday, November 23, 2018. Al D. Parson, 48, of Laquey, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving traveled off the right side of the roadway, down an embankment, and came to rest in some trees. The crash occurred on U.S. Highway 63 south of West Plains in Howell County. Howell County Coroner Tim Cherry pronounced Parson dead at the scene. Parson was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. A passenger in Parson’s vehicle was not wearing a seat belt; she sustained serious injuries in the crash. The Howell County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene.

Clara I. Silva, 62, of New Franklin, MO, died when the vehicle she was driving ran off the right side of the roadway, struck a ditch, overturned, and struck a tree before coming to rest on its top. The crash occurred on U.S. Highway 40 east of Missouri Highway 5. Coroner Frank Flaspohler pronounced Silva dead at the scene. Silva was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Aaron W. Williams, 48, of Farber, MO, died when the vehicle in which he was a passenger traveled off the right side of the roadway and struck a concrete barrier. The crash occurred on South Ethyln Road west of Deer Run Lane in Lincoln County. Lincoln County EMS pronounced Williams dead at the scene. Williams was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash. The driver of the vehicle was wearing a seat belt. He sustained serious injuries in the crash. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and Lincoln County Fire Department also responded to the scene.

Three people died in fatal traffic crashes on November 24, 2018. Marsha D. Rupel, 60, of Fair Grove, MO, died when the vehicle in which she was a passenger was struck head-on by another vehicle. The crash occurred on Missouri Route E east of Fair Grove, MO, in Greene County. Greene County Medical Examiner Buddy Pilmore pronounced Rupel dead at the scene. Rupel was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The driver of the vehicle in which Rupel was a passenger was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. He sustained serious injuries. The driver of the other vehicle was wearing a seat belt and sustained moderate injuries.

Sara L. Shepard, 31, of St. Charles, MO, died when the vehicle she was driving and another vehicle collided for unknown reasons. Shepard’s vehicle then ran off the right side of the roadway and struck the guardrail. The other vehicle ran off the roadway, struck the guardrail, and overturned. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 364 east of Jungs Station Road in St. Charles County. Dr. George Mekhjian at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital pronounced Shepard dead. Shepard was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The driver of the other vehicle was not wearing a seat belt and sustained moderate injuries. A passenger in the other vehicle was wearing a seat belt and sustained moderate injuries.

Tahkota T. Christiansen, 18, of Richmond, MO, died when an unknown vehicle struck the rear of the moped he was operating. Christiansen’s moped then traveled off the roadway and he was ejected. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 10 east of Missouri Route T in Ray County.

There were no boating crashes, zero boating fatalities, no boating while intoxicated arrests, and no drownings reported during the 2018 Thanksgiving holiday counting period.

NOTE: The fatality statistics in this news release could change if late deaths occur, or if other departments report fatal traffic crashes after this news release is sent out.