Thursday, November 09, 2006


Twenty-five people have died in wrecks in Springfield this year, according to police. The latest two deaths happened Thursday on Interstate 44 at the Kearney Street overpass and involved four vehicles, including a school bus. According to a police news release:
The crash occurred in a marked and designated work zone, established by the Missouri Department of Transportation. The exact sequence of events is still being determined, but at this time it appears that traffic had slowed and was traveling in the outside lane, as the inside lane was closed. The lead truck, a 1999 Freightliner was struck in the rear by a 2007 Bluebird school bus from the Weaubleau R-3 school district. The school bus had been struck in the rear by a 2005 Buick which had been struck in the rear by 2004 Freightliner. The impact of the 2004 Freightliner striking the Buick apparently caused an intense fire which engulfed and completed burned the Buick and the cab of the 2004 Freightliner.

The two occupants of the Buick were determined to be deceased at the scene. The driver of 2004 Freightliner was able to exit his truck and he was taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be serious. The school bus contained 15 boys and girls, ages 12 and 13, and an adult attendant and the driver. All the children were transported by ambulance to St. John’s and Cox, with it later being determined that 9 children were actually injured. None of the children had injuries that are believed to be serious.
Names of the dead haven't yet been released. The wreck turned the eastbound lanes of I-44 into a parking lot.

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