Three killed in fiery Ripley County, Mo., crash

Monday, January 5, 2009

NAYLOR, Mo. -- As Missouri State Highway Patrol investigators returned today to the scene of a triple-fatality crash at Naylor, efforts also are being made to identify the dead.

The scene of the two-vehicle crash on Highway 142, about one mile north of Naylor, has been turned over to members of Troop E's Major Crash Investigation Unit, according to Trooper Corey Tucker, who initially investigated the crash.

Team members, he said, are examining the vehicles, identified as Ford F-150 pickups, as well as photographing the scene and taking measurements.

Tucker said the crash occurred at about 8 p.m. Saturday when a white Ford F-150 pickup crossed the center line and struck the second pickup head on.

The first pickup then overturned, coming to rest on its top, and subsequently caught fire, Tucker explained.

"All three occupants of vehicle one were pronounced dead at the scene by Ripley County Coroner Mike Jackson," Tucker said.

Jackson said he pronounced the three occupants dead at 8:50 p.m.

At this time, "we haven't identified them," Jackson explained. "What I'm doing, I'm going to be taking all three bodies to Farmington for Dr. (Russell) Deidiker to help me identify them."

Authorities, Jackson said, have a starting point for making identification.

"We just have to confirm it; we want the families to get some closure (and) know for sure it was their loved one," he said.

Jackson hopes identification will be made today "for the families' peace of mind. We're doing everything we can to help the families."

Tucker said the driver of the second pickup suffered what he described as serious injuries and was flown to Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center for treatment.

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