Patrol Reports Nine Fatalities, Three Drownings Over Holiday 

Several local accidents are included in the report. One accident in Howell County involved the death of a horse, with serious injury to the rider.

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, Nov. 27 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. 

The Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated traffic incidents across the state that included 404 crashes; 166 injuries; 7 fatalities; 94 DWIs; and 63 drug arrests. 

Locally, in Troop G, officers responded to a single car crash in Ozark County, five miles west of Theodosia.  The 2019 Chevrolet Equinox driven by Christie Letner, age 35, of Protem, Mo. was traveling east on US 160, when the vehicle ran off the left side of the road, overcorrected to the right striking a ditch, fence and tree stump.   The driver, wearing a seat belt, received minor injuries. The wreck was investigated by Trooper J.W. Philpott.  

On Friday, Nov. 29, a Howell County accident caused serious injury to Leonard G. Green, age 17 of Willow Springs, Mo., as Green was riding a horse on Hwy. 63 at Pomona.  

According to the MSHP report, a 2010 Dodge Charger driven by Kimberly M. Wilson, of West Plains, was traveling southbound when the vehicle struck the horse in the roadway ejecting the rider.   A second vehicle, a 2008 Ford F150 driven by Kristi J. Hargrove, age 46, of West Plains, also hit the injured horse.  The horse died at the scene. No additional details were available on Green’s injuries. 

Both drivers were wearing seat belts and avoided injury.  However, the Ford F150 was totaled and towed from the site. Fog was cited as a likely factor in the accident. 

The incident was investigated by Trooper J.M. Kenyon with assistance from Cpl. J.S. Cunningham, Cpl. J.C. Howell, and Trooper C.A. Kimes.  

On Saturday, Nov. 30, Trooper J.W. Philpott responded to a single car crash on Highway 76, four miles west of Ava.  According to the report, a 2009 Pontiac G6 ran off the right side of the roadway, hit a ditch and overturned.  The vehicle also struck a telephone pole, cable box and fence.  The driver, a 16-year-old minor, received minor injuries, and was wearing a seat belt.    

At the scene, Trooper Philpott was assisted by a Douglas County Deputy and the Ava Rural Fire Department. 

During the statewide Thanksgiving counting period this year, seven traffic crash fatalities were investigated, with five fatalities occurring in the Troop C, St. Louis area; one fatality occurred in the Troop B, Macon, Mo. area; and one fatality occurred in Troop D, Springfield. 

The Springfield fatality occurred on Sunday, Dec. 1, and according to the report, David V. Gulledge, 56, of Springfield, died when he was struck by a vehicle.  Gulledge was a pedestrian in the roadway. 

The incident occurred on Mo. Highway 413 west of Springfield, in Greene County. The driver of the vehicle was wearing a seat belt and not injured.

On Nov. 30, three drownings were reported.  Two juvenile male passengers died when the vehicle in which they were riding traveled into a flooded crossing. The vehicle was swept away with all occupants entering the water. It is unknown if the two fatalities were using safety devices. The incident occurred on County Road 356 southeast of Patton, Mo., at Little White Water Creek Crossing in Bollinger County. 

Also in Bollinger County, Todd P. Dean, 48, of Mandeville, LA, died when he drove his vehicle into a flooded crossing and was swept downstream. The incident occurred on County Road 234 one mile from Sedgewickville, Mo.

Follow the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Twitter