A drunk driver caused an accident Saturday night southeast of Houston that seriously injured a woman from Licking, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. 

Tpr. Myron Downey said a southbound 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Thomas E. Stanton, 42, of Houston, on Highway DD skidded into the oncoming lane and struck a 2014 Kia Forte operated by Cathy A. Peck, 48, about four miles north of Tyrone. 

Three trucks and nine firefighters from the Houston Rural Fire Department responded, as Stanton’s vehicle caught fire. A Texas County Sheriff’s Department officer who also responded confirmed that a pair of local residents were the first to arrive at the crash scene, and successfully pulled Stanton from his burning car.

The officer said that when he arrived, he observed Stanton on ground, and pulled him clear of the blaze. The officer then attempted to snuff the flames with a fire extinguisher, but was unsuccessful.

Houston Rural responders then arrived and doused the car fire with foam.

Peck was flown from the scene to Mercy Hospital in Springfield. Stanton was taken by ambulance with moderate injuries to Texas County Memorial Hospital in Houston. 

Stanton faces multiple charges including felony DWI, second-degree felony assault, felony driving while revoked, no insurance, wearing no seat belt and failing to drive on the right half of the roadway.

Troopers assisting Downey at the scene were Sgt. Jeff Kinder, Cpl. Curtis Haden and Tpr. Marty Wiseman. 

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