The Highway Patrol was out in full force over the Labor Day holiday and traffic statistics released Tuesday show their efforts might have kept fatality crashes to a minimum. Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Captain Tim Hull:
Press Release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol
Six people died in traffic crashes during the 2012 Labor Day holiday weekend. Last year, there were 13 fatalities. The 2012 counting period ran from 6 p.m., Friday, August 31, through 11:59 p.m., Monday, September 3, 2012. During this period, the Patrol investigated 201 traffic crashes, which included 144 injuries and four of the six fatalities. St. Louis Police Department and Cuba Police Department each investigated one fatality. Troopers made 147 arrests for driving while intoxicated in 2012, compared to 175 arrests last year. (Note: in 2011, troopers investigated 259 crashes, which included 135 injuries and nine of the 13 fatalities.)
There were no boating fatalities over the 2012 Labor Day holiday. Troopers investigated three boating crashes involving one injury. One person drowned in Missouri’s waterways. Troopers also arrested seven people for boating while intoxicated over the weekend. During the 2011 Labor Day weekend, officers investigated 14 boating crashes, which included six injuries and two fatalities. Two people drowned and 19 people were arrested for boating while intoxicated during last year’s Labor Day weekend.
One person drowned on Friday, August 31, 2012. Kurt P. Murphy, 39, of St. Louis, MO, died while swimming in the Meramec River near Missouri Highway
21, in Jefferson County. Murphy’s body was recovered September 2, 2012. He was not wearing a safety device.
Of the four traffic crash fatalities troopers investigated, one occurred in each of the following troop areas: Troop A, Lee’s Summit, Troop B, Macon, Troop G, Willow Springs, and Troop H, St. Joseph.
There were no fatalities on Friday, August 31, 2012, during the counting period.
On Saturday, September 1, 2012, two people died in traffic crashes. Odise Thomas Reece, 48, of St. Louis, died when he crossed the double yellow lines and both lanes of traffic while traveling on South Jefferson Avenue in St. Louis. His vehicle struck a curb and a tree, then continued forward striking a second tree. Dr. Lorber, St. Louis University Hospital, pronounced Reece dead. St. Louis Police Department handled the investigation. No further information is available.
David G. Hannah, 67, of Lincoln, MO, died when a vehicle struck him as he attempted to cross Missouri Route C west of Old Highway 63, in Benton County. Dr. C. Davis pronounced Hannah dead. Benton County Sheriff’s Department and Lincoln Police Department assisted at the scene. The driver of the vehicle that struck Hannah was not injured; he was wearing a seat belt.
Four people died in traffic crashes on Sunday, September 2, 2012. Thomas R. Bruns, 51, of Cuba, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving ran off the roadway and struck a utility pole. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 19 at Belden Avenue in Crawford County. Bruns was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Crawford County Coroner Paul Hutson pronounced Bruns dead at the scene. The Cuba Police Department investigated the crash.
Steven D. Brawley, 56, of Ellington, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving traveled off the roadway, struck a ditch, and overturned. Brawley was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 21 south of Ellington, MO, in Reynolds County. Reynolds County Coroner Jeffrey McSpadden pronounced Brawley dead at scene.
Dylan C. Gruber, 23, of Hunnewell, MO, died when he lost control of the vehicle he was driving on gravel and traveled off the right side of the roadway striking a fence and utility pole. The vehicle then overturned numerous times. Gruber was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. The crash occurred on Marion County Road 212 north of Hunnewell, MO, in Marion County. Dr. Birsic, Blessing Hospital, pronounced Gruber dead. Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe City Fire Department, and Monroe City Ambulance assisted at the scene.
Brandin D. Hatheway, 24, of Savannah, MO, died when the motorcycle he was driving overtook a vehicle and struck it on the rear passenger side. He was ejected. The driver of the vehicle was wearing a seat belt and was not injured. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 71 Business Route at County
Road 445 in Andrew County. Hatheway was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Andrew County Coroner Ron Crouse pronounced Hatheway dead at the
scene. The Andrew County Sheriff’s Department, Savannah Police Department, and Andrew County EMS assisted at the scene.
There were no traffic crash fatalities on Monday September 3, 2012, during the holiday counting period.
NOTE: The fatality statistics in this news release could change if late deaths occur, if other departments report fatal traffic/boating crashes after this news release was sent out, or if a fatality is determined to be caused by a medical condition rather than traffic/boating incident.