Ice blamed in crashes, 14-vehicle accident

Tuesday, February 3, 2004

ST. CHARLES, Mo. -- Icy roads were blamed Monday for at least three fatal crashes and a 14-vehicle, chain-reaction accident that left at least four people injured and sent motorists sliding into a creek, trees or each other, authorities said. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said a Mexico, Mo., man was killed around 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Kyle Davis, 21, was pronounced dead about an hour and a half later at the Audrain Medical Center.

Just minutes after the first fatal crash, the patrol said a Hannibal man was killed when he lost control on a snow-covered stretch of Missouri 19 in neighboring Ralls County.

The patrol said the car William Spaun, 21, was driving crossed the center line and collided head-on with a tractor-trailer. Spaun was pronounced dead at the scene.

In nearby Montgomery County, the patrol said an Illinois man was killed just after 2 p.m. when he lost control of his car on a partially snow- and slush- covered stretch of Interstate 70 and slid across the median and into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer. The rig jackknifed, temporarily blocking westbound traffic. The patrol identified the victim as Richard Ingram, 34, of Alton, Ill.

A patrol dispatcher said roads were slick in northeast Missouri, contributing to numerous crashes.

Meanwhile, the patrol said those injured in the St. Charles County crash shortly before 8 a.m. on a hilly stretch of Highway DD were taken to hospitals, and none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

Authorities said a fire truck dispatched to the scene was hit by another vehicle.

A state trooper said what began as a two-car accident quickly involved more vehicles, as drivers -- once they topped the hill -- could not stop and slid into vehicles at the bottom.

Dave Beusterien, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said snow stopped falling across western Missouri in the morning and central Missouri in the afternoon.

Most of the snow was reported in northwest Missouri. Accumulations ranged from 1 to 3 inches in an area that includes Kansas City and Carrollton to 7 to 9 inches in the extreme northwest tip of the state. Smaller accumulations were reported in west-central and north-central parts of the state.

Beusterien said another storm was expected to move into the state by Wednesday night, bringing the threat of more snow.

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