The Missouri State Highway Patrol said eight people died in traffic crashes during the 2017 Labor Day holiday weekend.
The counting period ran from 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 1, through 11:59 p.m., Monday, Sept. 4. There were 317 total crashes with 112 injuries. Troopers made 136 driving while intoxicated and 128 drug arrests.
Of the eight traffic crash fatalities troopers investigated, three occurred in the Troop E, Poplar Bluff area; two occurred in the Troop A, Lee’s Summit area; and one fatality occurred in each of the following areas: Troop C, Weldon Spring, Troop F, Jefferson City, area; and Troop G, Willow Springs, area.
In Troop G, officers investigated 19 traffic crashes resulting in 12 injuries. There were 14 arrests for drug violations as well as six people arrested for driving while intoxicated. The patrol also issued 106 speed citations and 12 seat belt citations.
Statewide, one fatality occurred during the counting period on Sept. 1.
Cheryl J. Ashton, 60, of Owensville, died when the vehicle she was driving traveled off the right side of the roadway and she overcorrected. The vehicle then returned to the roadway, went off the left side of the roadway, struck a road sign and a bridge railing. The vehicle then became airborne, struck the ground and a tree, and then caught fire. Maj. Eric Wilbanks, acting Gasconade County Coroner, pronounced Ashton dead at the scene of the crash. The crash occurred on Highway B north of Missouri Route CC in Gasconade county. Ashton was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Seven people died in traffic crashes on Sept. 2.
Sasha N. Tallant, 19, of Portageville, died when the vehicle she was driving ran off the right side of the roadway and she overcorrected. The vehicle then ran off the left side of the road and overturned. Pemiscot County Coroner Jim Brimhall pronounced Tallant dead at the scene. The crash occurred on the East Outer Road north of Hayti in Pemiscot County. Tallant was not wearing a seat belt.
Justin A. Young, 36, of Poplar Bluff, and Wendy L. Brooks, 45, of Boaz, Ky., died when the vehicle Young was driving crossed the center line and hit the vehicle Brooks was driving head-on. Ripley County Coroner Michael Jackson pronounced Young and Brooks dead at the scene. The crash occurred on U.S. 160, east of Doniphan in Ripley County. It is unknown whether or not Young was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Brooks and the three passengers in her vehicle were wearing their seat belts. The three passengers in Brooks’ vehicle sustained serious injuries.
Zachary D. Henson, 20, of Mountain Grove, died when the driver of the vehicle in which he was a passenger attempted to pass on a blind curve and encountered a vehicle coming from the opposite direction. The driver then swerved back into the correct lane, overcorrected, ran off the right side of the roadway, and overturned. Dr. Ryan Biggers, Cox South Medical Center, pronounced Hensen dead at the hospital. The crash occurred on Highway N west of Mountain Grove in Wright County. Henson was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash; he was ejected from the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and was ejected; he sustained serious injuries in the crash.
Johannes Van Gerwen, 63, of Lake St. Louis, died when the motorcycle he was operating failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway and traveled off the left side. The motorcycle then struck a traffic barrier and a tree. Emergency medical services personnel pronounced Van Gerwen dead at the scene. The crash occurred on Highway 94 west of the Klondike Park boat ramp entrance. Van Gerwen was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
Francisco M. Corchado, 32, of Kansas City, Kan., died after he was struck by a vehicle while he was walking in the roadway. Jackson County Medical Examiner Steve Simmons pronounced Corchado dead at the scene. The crash occurred on Interstate 435 south of the 52.8-mile marker in Clay County.
Jeffrey M. Koontz, 39, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, died after he was struck by three separate vehicles while he was in the roadway. Jackson County Medical Examiner Steve Simmons pronounced Koontz dead at the scene. The crash occurred on Interstate 70 east of Northwest Woods Chapel Road in Jackson County.
There were no traffic fatalities reported on Sept. 3 or 4.
One person is believed to have drowned Sept. 4 in the Mississippi River at the 220-mile marker near Portage Des Sioux. Emergency personnel continue to search.
No further information is available at this time.
There were no boating fatalities reported over the 2017 Labor Day holiday weekend, the patrol said.