The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.
Published February 12, 2020
Man dies in one-vehicle accident
LAKE OF THE OZARKS – A Camdenton man is dead after his vehicle went off the road last week.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) last Sunday (February 2) at 10:04 p.m. on Old Morgan Road 1.4 miles south of Highway 54 in Camden County, a
2001 Mercury Mountaineer, driven by John Wood, 35, of Camdenton, MO, was southbound when the vehicle ran off the right side of the road, struck an embankment, overturned and then returned to the roadway.
Wood was pronounced dead at the scene. The MSHP said he was not wearing a safety device.
Another accident earlier that day involving two vehicles left a man with moderate injuries.
The MSHP reported that at 2:18 p.m. at Highway 52 approximately 150 feet west of Church Road in Morgan County, a 2011 Volvo C30, driven by Henry Humme, 78, of Versailles, MO, was stopped in traffic waiting to make a left turn.
At that time, a 2003 Honda Accord, driven by Jeffrey Vanpelt, 24, of Barnett, MO, was “inattentive” (according to the MSHP) and struck the back of the Volvo.
Vanpelt received moderate injuries and was transported to Lake Regional Hospital by Ambulance. He was not wearing a safety device but Humme was.
The Honda was totaled and the Volvo received moderate damage.
Another two-vehicle accident the next day sent a man to the Hospital.
At 1:50 p.m. at Route 5 at Pier 31 Road, in Camden County, a 2015 Ford Fiesta, driven by James Conner, 82, of Camdenton, MO, was southbound when a northbound 2011 Buick Enclave, driven by Beverly Bleck, 76, also of Camdenton, MO, was making a left turn onto Pier 31 road and “failed to yield” to the Ford, the MSHP stated, and was struck by the Ford.
Conner received minor injuries and was transported by ambulance to Lake Regional Hospital. Both drivers were wearing their safety devices.
The Buick received minor damage and the Ford Fiesta was totaled.
Snowy roads were to blame for another accident last Wednesday (February 5) in Morgan County.
According to the MSHP, at 9:45 a.m., a 2004 Mazda 6, driven by Elvis Fuentes, 40, of Gravois Mills, MO, was northbound on Route 135 one mile north of Cup Tree Road, when the vehicle slid on the snowy road, crossed the centerline and struck a 2005 Ford Escape, driven by Andrew Russo, 33, also of Gravois Mills, MO.
A passenger in Russo’s vehicle, Meghan Farr, 32, of Gravois Mills, MO, received minor injuries and was transported by ambulance to Lake Regional Hospital.
Both vehicles received moderate damage and all three people were wearing their safety devices.
An hour later the snow was also blamed for another accident in Morgan County.
At 10:45 a.m. on Brendle Blvd at Sioux Lane, a 2019 Toyota Tacoma, driven by Michael Marinesi, 24, of Bulverde, TX, slid off the left side of the roadway, struck a ditch and overturned.
Marinesi received minor injuries and was transported to Lake Regional Hospital by ambulance. He was wearing a safety device.
The Toyota received extensive damage in the crash.
Five-minutes later in Camden County, a Freightliner and a Ford Escape were also victims of the snow.
According to the MSHP, a Ford Escape, driven by Vicki Riggs, 56, of Eugene, MO, was attempting to pass a 2007 Freightliner Coronado, driven by James Thurman, 69, of Columbia, MO, on eastbound Highway 54 just east of Route A.
The Escape lost control while passing the Freightliner, spun, causing the passenger side to strike the front of the Freightliner.
Vicki Riggs received moderate injuries while a passenger, Daniel Riggs, 59, of Linn Creek, MO, received minor injuries.
Both were taken to Lake Regional Hospital by private vehicle. The MSHP said neither of the Riggs were wearing a safety device but Thurman was.
The Escape was totaled and the Freightliner received moderate damage.
Snow also was to blame for another accident that same day that sent two Hollister residents to the hospital.
At 7:55 p.m. on southbound Route 5 one-half mile south of Dry Hollow Road in Camden County, a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer, driven by Scott Bethel, 63 of Hollister, MO, lost control on the ice-covered road and traveled off the left side of the road and struck a guardrail.
The vehicle then came to rest partially blocking the right lane of the highway.
Three minutes later, a 2015 Volvo, driven by Nurlan Tashtanov, 32, of Philadelphia, PA, came upon the scene and attempted to avoid the Trailblazer that was in the road.
The tow unit of his vehicle ended up striking the Trailblazer.
Scott Bethel received minor injuries and was transported to Lake Regional Hospital by ambulance.
A passenger in the vehicle, Ronda Bethel, 60, also of Hollister, MO, received serious injuries and was also taken to Lake Regional Hospital.
Both of the Bethels were wearing a safety device at the time the Trailblazer struck the guardrail but Ronda was not wearing it when the Volvo stuck the Trailblazer.
The Volvo received minor damage and was driven from the scene.
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