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Twelve people died in traffic crashes during the 2010 July Fourth holiday counting period. The counting period began at 6 p.m., Friday, July 2, and ended at 11:59 p.m., Monday, July 5.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol worked 281crashes in which six people died and 139 were injured. The St. Louis Police Department investigated two fatalities. The Kansas City Police Department investigated four fatalities.
Troopers arrested 169 people for driving while intoxicated during this year’s holiday weekend. During last year’s counting period, troopers worked 317 traffic crashes in which four people died and 134 were injured.
Statewide, in 2009, there were 1,251 traffic crashes, in which 11 people died and 484 were injured. Troopers made 149 driving while intoxicated arrests during the 2009 counting period.
Of the six fatalities investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, two fatalities occurred in the Troop A, Lee’s Summit area; and one fatality occurred in each of the following troop areas: Troop B, Macon, Troop D, Springfield, Troop E, Poplar Bluff, and Troop F, Jefferson City.
Five fatalities occurred on Friday, July 3. Sonya Richter, 43, of Adrian, died when the vehicle in which she was a passenger failed to yield and was struck by another vehicle. The crash occurred on U.S. Highway 71 at Missouri Route E in Bates County. Richter was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Bates County Coroner Schowengert pronounced Richter dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle in which Richter was a passenger was not wearing a seat belt and sustained moderate injuries in the crash. The driver of the other vehicle was wearing a seat belt and sustained minor injuries.
Erik M. Marshall, 31, Jackson, died when he failed to stop the motorcycle he was driving at a stop sign and struck the side of another vehicle. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 177 in Cape Girardeau.
Dr. Haddox at Saint Francis Medical Center pronounced Marshall dead at the hospital. The driver of the vehicle Marshall’s motorcycle struck was not injured; she was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Paul S. Shurnas, 44, of Columbia, died when the vehicle he was driving became airborne on a hill crest due to excessive speed. The vehicle landed on the roadway on its wheels, rotated, traveled off the left side of the roadway into a ditch, started to overturn, then traveled off the right side of the roadway, and came to rest in the opposite ditch.
The crash occurred on Missouri Route O north of Hickory Grove School in Boone County. Dr. Mueller pronounced Shurnas dead at the scene of the crash.
Shurnas was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. A passenger in the vehicle sustained minor injuries; he was also wearing a seat belt.
Ryan G. Bunch, 24, of Richmond, died when he failed to stop at a railroad crossing and his John Deere tractor was struck by a train. The crash occurred east of Egypt Road in Ray County.
The crossing was marked by stop signs.
Ray County Coroner Jim Garrison pronounced Bunch dead at the scene.
Peter M. Mathews, 33, of St. Louis, died when he lost control of the vehicle he was driving, causing it to cross several lanes, struck a guardrail, and traveled onto the grass. The vehicle then rotated and Mathews, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected.
The crash occurred on Interstate 44 in St. Louis. Mathews was pronounced dead at St. Louis University Hospital.
A passenger in Mathews’ vehicle was injured in the crash; he was wearing a seat belt. This crash was investigated by the St. Louis Police Department.
One fatality occurred on July 4.
Curtis D. Stallo, 14, of Salisbury, died when the tractor he was driving collided with a bridge railing, overturned off the bridge, and disconnected from the trailer. The tractor came to rest on top of Stallo. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 129 at East Fork Chariton River Bridge.
Chariton County Coroner Larry Breshears pronounced Stallo dead at the scene. Stallo was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
The Chariton County Ambulance, Chariton County Sheriff’s Department, Chariton County Fire Department, Salisbury Fire Department, and Chariton County first responders were also on scene.
Two fatalities occurred on July 5.
Edward L. Shields, 37, of Neosho, died when the vehicle he was driving ran off the right side of the roadway and he overcorrected, causing the vehicle to run off the left side of the roadway and overturn. The crash occurred on old U.S. Highway 60 east of Seneca in Newton County. Newton County Coroner Lee Ireland pronounced Shields dead at the scene. Shields was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Ashley Brenner, 21, of St. Louis, died when the vehicle in which she was a passenger slid into multiple parked cars. Brenner was not wearing a seat belt and was eventually ejected from the vehicle. The crash occurred on Holly Hills in St. Louis.
Dr. Nichalus pronounced Brenner deceased at Barnes Hospital. This crash was investigated by the St. Louis Police Department.
The remaining four fatalities are being investigated by the Kansas City Police Department. No further details are available at this time.