Springfield, Mo. -- (11/27/17) The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports 15 people died during this year’s Thanksgiving holiday counting period--from 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 22, 2017, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 26, 2017. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports the following:

2017 Thanksgiving Holiday Traffic Statistics:

Crashes - 400
Injuries - 116
Fatalities - 15
DWI - 127
Drug Arrests - 117

[During the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday counting period, troopers investigated 400 traffic crashes, which included 124 injuries. Fourteen people died over last year’s Thanksgiving holiday. Troopers also arrested 103 people for driving while intoxicated and made 100 drug arrests during the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday counting period.] 

Of the 11 traffic crash fatalities troopers investigated, four occurred in the Troop D, Springfield area; two occurred in each of the following areas: Troop B, Macon area, and Troop E, Poplar Bluff area; and one fatality each occurred in the Troop A, Lee’s Summit area, Troop F, Jefferson City area, and the Troop H, St. Joseph area. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, Boone County Sheriff’s Department, Mexico Department of Public Safety, and St. Joseph Police Department each investigated one of the fatality traffic crashes.

Three fatalities occurred during the counting period on Wednesday, November 22, 2017. Emylee L. Anglen, 20, of Springfield, MO, and John P. Guertin, 58, of Madison, TN, died when the vehicle Guertin was driving struck the vehicle Anglen was driving headon. Guertin was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of U.S. Highway 60 in Fordland, MO, (Webster County) when the crash occurred. Neither Anglen nor Guertin were wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Webster County Coroner Michael Taylor pronounced both Anglen and Guertin dead at the scene of the crash. 

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department investigated one fatality on November 22, 2017. No further information is available. 

Three people died in traffic crashes on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23, 2017. Brandon D. Samons, 16, of Doniphan, MO, and Derick M. Samons, 22, of Doniphan, MO, both died when the car in which they were passengers ran off the roadway, struck a mailbox, and overturned several times. The crash occurred on Missouri Route K in Ripley County near K-5. Neither Brandon Samons nor Derick Samons were wearing a seat belt; they were both ejected from the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was not wearing a seat belt and sustained minor injuries. Ripley County Coroner Michael Jackson pronounced Derick Samons dead at the scene of the crash. Dr. Sharpe at Regional One Health in Memphis, TN, pronounced Brandon Samons deceased at the hospital.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department investigated one fatality on November 23, 2017. No further information is available.

The Mexico Department of Public Safety investigated one fatality on November 23, 2017. No further information is available.

Three people died in traffic crashes on Friday, November 24, 2017. Lynden A. Verser, 33, of Marshfield, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving struck another vehicle headon. Verser was traveling westbound in the eastbound lane of Interstate 44 near Strafford, MO, (Greene County) when the crash occurred. Verser was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The driver of the second vehicle was wearing a seat belt; he sustained minor injuries in the crash. Greene County Coroner Michelle Waters pronounced Verser dead at the scene of the crash.

Victoria L. Roberts, 62, of Centralia, MO, died when the vehicle she was driving struck the rear of another vehicle, which was stopped in traffic. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 22 at Missouri Route NN in Audrain County. Roberts was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The driver of the second vehicle was wearing a seat belt; she sustained minor injuries in the crash. Dr. J. Dunn pronounced Roberts dead at University of Missouri Hospital.

Maysell E. Crossland, 17, of Marceline, MO, died when the vehicle in which she was a passenger crossed the centerline, the driver overcorrected, then the vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway, struck an embankment, and overturned. The crash occurred on Missouri Route M east of Purdin, MO, (Linn County). Crossland was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. Another passenger was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected, and sustained serious injuries. The remaining two people in the car-the driver and a third passenger-were not wearing seat belts. The driver sustained moderate injuries; the third passenger sustained serious injuries. Linn County Coroner Kenny Creason pronounced Crossland dead at the scene of the crash.

Two people died in traffic crashes on Saturday, November 25, 2017. Danette L. Rardon, 39, of Chillicothe, MO, died when the vehicle she was driving was struck by another vehicle. Rardon was turning right when the second vehicle ran a red light and struck the driver’s side of Rardon’s vehicle. Rardon’s vehicle then ran off the right side of the roadway and struck a sign pole. The crash occurred on U.S. Highway 65 in Chillicothe (Livingston County). Rardon was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The driver of the second vehicle was not wearing a seat belt; he sustained serious injuries. Two passengers in the second vehicle were not wearing seat belts; they sustained moderate and minor injuries in the crash. Livingston County Coroner Scott Lindley pronounced Rardon dead at the scene. Chillicothe Police Department, Livingston County Sheriff’s Department, and Chillicothe Fire Department all responded to the scene.

Robert D. McCormick, 18, of Pleasant Hill, MO, died when he stepped into the path of a vehicle and was struck. The crash occurred on U.S. Highway 50 west of Alley Jackson in Jackson County. Dr. Miller at Lee’s Summit Medical Center pronounced McCormick dead at the hospital. Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Lone Jack Police Department, and Lake Lotawana Police Department all responded to the scene.

Three people died on Sunday, November 26, 2017. Brian S. Salsman, 53, of Fort Smith, AR, died when the vehicle he was driving ran off the roadway and overturned into a tree. The crash occurred on U.S. Highway 165 southwest of Hollister, MO, in Taney County. Salsman was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Taney County Deputy Coroner Bryan Coppitz pronounced Salsman dead at the scene.

Meechele K. Page, 17, of Keokuk, IA, died when the vehicle in which she was a passenger ran off the roadway, struck a tree, and caught fire. The crash occurred on County Road 201 northwest of Wayland, MO, in Clark County. The driver and two additional passengers sustained serious injuries in the crash. It is unknown whether or not Page and the other three people in the vehicle were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. Clark County Coroner Edwin Wilson pronounced Page dead at the scene. MSHP Major Crash Investigation Team #2, Clark County Rescue, Wayland Fire Department, and Clark County Sheriff’s Department all responded to the scene.

St. Joseph Police Department investigated one fatality on Sunday, November 26, 2017. No further details are available.

There were no boating crashes, zero boating fatalities, no boating while intoxicated arrests, and no drownings reported during the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday counting period.

(Media Release)