Two dead in Southeast Missouri accidents Monday

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 ~ Updated 9:43 AM

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Two people died in separate accidents Monday in Southeast Missouri.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, at 9:55 am. on Interstate 57, seven miles north of Charleston, a northbound dump truck operated by Nathan L. Belstle, 23, of Fayette, Mo., suffered a defect, crossed the center line and struck a vehicle driven by Robert G. Downey, 36, of Collierville, Tenn., head-on.

Downey was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:12 a.m. by Mississippi County coroner Terry Parker. Belstle received serious injuries and was air lifted to Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau.

Another accident occurred at 1:05 p.m. in Dunklin County. The Patrol reports eastbound motorist Carri L. Morales, 32, of Gideon, Mo., was traveling on U.S. 162, half a mile east of Clarkton city limits, when she drove off the road and overturned. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:05 p.m. by New Madrid County coroner Ralph Barnwell.

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