One killed in collision on fog-shrouded road

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Heavy morning fog covering the road contributed to the death of a Jackson man Monday morning, said Cpl. Mark Winder of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Jeff S. Wille, 40, was apparently attempting to turn his Ford pickup truck around on Route U at Route RA in Crump, having passed a missed turn, when his vehicle was knocked off the road by a southbound dump truck.

"Visibility was less than 100 feet," Winder said. "At least a couple other people there said that was the case, too."

The dump truck driver, Charles D. Schmitt, 32, of Leopold, Mo., could not clearly see Wille's car backing into the road until it was too late, Winder said.

The impact threw Wille from his pickup. He was pronounced dead of a head injury at the scene by Cape Girardeau County Coroner Mike Hurst.

Schmitt was not injured and no one else was in either vehicle, Winder said.

Wille was not wearing a seat belt, but using one may have made things worse in this instance, Hurst said.

"Had he been wearing a seat belt, he would have been tore up a lot worse, based on the damage to his truck," Hurst said.

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