The New Years winter storm that struck St. Louis continues to provide Missouri drivers with deadly road conditions. On January 3, 2014, Billy D. Ennis, 53, and Ricky M. Pritchett, 45, were involved in a crash when their vehicle failed to negotiate a curve, left the roadway and struck a culvert before overturning. Ennis was pronounced dead at the scene, his body was taken to Fohn Funeral Home in Cassville. Pritchett was described as having moderate injuries and was taken to Freeman West Hospital by ambulance.
There was also a serious accident that occurred when a vehicle traveling Northbound suddenly crossed the median and began traveling head on into the Southbound traffic. Levi Vansickle, 16, was traveling southbound when he was struck by a vehicle going the wrong way in his lane. In the vehicle was Glenda D. Cox, and Wesley B. Seiglar, both 57 years of age. Seiglar and Cox were both taken to the hospital with reportedly serious injuries, and Vansickle’s injuries were reported moderate. Cox was transported via Air Evac to University Hospital in Columbia. Both Seiglar and Vansickle were transported via ambulance to Sullivan County Memorial Hospital.
Several fatal accidents over the past few days have claimed the lives of Missouri residents while leaving family and friends devastated. The most recent storm may just be the tip of the iceberg compared to the storm that is predicted to hit St. Louis and the rest of the metro area this weekend. Computer models have forecasted as high as 9-10” of snow for some areas of St. Louis and surrounding. According to The National Weather Service, a mass of much colder air is pushing downward near the Rockies and will reach the metro area Sunday. It could be our first below-zero readings at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in 15 years.
Snow Storms Make Everything More Dangerous
The recent snow storm has also contributed to one non-driving related death. Carl W. Walker, 66, of the 300 block of Lindenwood Boulevard in Alton suffered shortness of breath while running his snowblower on Thursday morning. He was taken to St. Anthony’s Health Center in Alton and was pronounced dead a short time later.
It’s also very easy to slip and fall on the ice and break any number of bones. It’s important to shovel your driveway, sidewalk, and porch. Basically anywhere you anticipate walking. If snow gets packed down, or melts and then re-freezes, it can be very dangerous to walk on. Try not to wear shoes with flat bottoms, wear something that has a little tread like tennis shoes, or snow boots. Remember to keep an ice scraper in your car, as well as a flashlight and something to alert other drivers in case you find yourself with car troubles on the side of the road. If you find yourself sliding in your vehicle, you may be able to straighten out by turning your wheel in the same direction you are sliding (i.e. if your rear wheels start sliding to your right hand side, you might be able to straighten out the car by turning your steering wheel to the right as well). Stay safe.