Missouri State Highway Patrol Reports Two Fatalities Over Christmas Holiday

No Boating Crashes Or Drownings

Missouri State Highway Patrol reports two people died in traffic crashes during the 30-hour 2019 Christmas holiday counting period. 

The counting period ran from 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24, through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 25. 

During the 2019 Christmas holiday traffic travel time period, troopers investigated the following: 

  • Traffic Crashes – 91;
  • Traffic Crash Injuries – 23;
  • Traffic Crash Fatalities – 2;
  • DWI – 18.

Last year, there were 1,155 traffic crashes. In those crashes, 11 people were killed and another 421 were injured. During the 2018 Christmas holiday, troopers arrested 106 people for driving while impaired. 

No boating crashes or drownings occurred during the counting period this year.

Both fatalities occurred in the Troop C, Weldon Spring, area, on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2019.

Leon J. Barnett, 48, of De Soto, Mo., died when another vehicle struck the motorcycle he was driving. Barnett was traveling at a low rate of speed in the northbound lanes of Interstate 55 in Jefferson County when another vehicle traveling the same direction changed lanes. 

Barnett was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The driver of the vehicle sustained minor injuries; he was wearing a seat belt.

Elizabeth J. Rutledge, 32, of Troy, Mo., died when the vehicle she was driving traveled off the right side of the roadway and she overcorrected, causing the vehicle to return to the roadway and overturn. Rutledge was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. The crash occurred on Highway H in Silex, Mo., in Lincoln County. 

Too many people die in traffic crashes each year in Missouri. The choices you make when you’re behind the wheel matter. 

Make good choices, so you’ll never have to say, “If I could just go back.”