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 7, 2024

Falling asleep blamed for two crashes

LAKE OF THE OZARKS – Falling asleep while driving was blamed for several crashes last week in the lake area.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) the first one occurred on Monday January 29, in Miller County when Nancy Gresham, 52, of Kirksville, MO, was driving a 2021 Buick Regal east on Highway 54 west of Old Tuscumbia Road at 4:30 a.m. when she fell asleep while driving.

The Buick crossed the median, crossed the westbound lanes of Highway 54, hit an embankment and overturned.

Gresham suffered serious injuries and was taken by EMS to Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach, MO. She was wearing a seat belt. The car had extensive damage.

The second incident took place the next day in Camden County.

At 11:32 a.m., a 2023 Ford Explorer, driven by Clourisa Standley, 33, of Stoutland, MO, was northbound on Route 7 north of Irontown Drive when the driver fell asleep.

The vehicle went off the right side of the road, overturned and hit several trees.

Standley received minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to Lake Regional Hospital. She was wearing a seat belt. The vehicle was totaled in the crash.

On Monday January 29 at 1:50 p.m., a two vehicle accident sent three to the hospital.

The MSHP reported that a 2020 Volkswagen Jetta, being driven by Shana Dunn. 38, of Rolla, MO, was traveling north on Highway 134 in Miller County when the vehicle failed to yield to a 2009 Buick Lacrosse, driven by August Johns, 72, of Richland, MO, who was eastbound on Highway 42.

The Jetta hit the Buick. 

Dunn, August Johns and a passenger in his vehicle, Juanita Johns, 79, also of Richland, MO, suffered minor injuries and all were taken by ambulance to Lake Regional Hospital. Everyone involved was wearing their seat belts. The Jetta had moderate damage and the Buick minor.

Another two-vehicle accident the next day in Morgan County sent two to the hospital.

A 2022 Chevrolet Express van, driven by Carl Larsen, 56, of Blue Springs, MO, was traveling south on Highway 5 in Morgan County. The MSHP said the vehicle stopped at the intersection of Highway 5 and Highway 50 and then pulled out in front of a westbound 2000 Chevrolet Silverado being driven by Darrell Menhennet, 71 of Tipton, MO, who hit the Chevrolet Express.

Larsen had moderate injuries and was taken by ambulance to Bothwell Hospital in Sedalia. He was wearing a seat belt.

Menhennet received minor injuries and was taken by private vehicle to Capitol Region Hospital in Jefferson City, MO.

Both vehicles had extensive damage.

Another two-vehicle accident last Wednesday sent two to the hospital.

According to the MSHP, at 4:04 p.m. a 2012 Ford Escape, driven by Abigail Lietzke, 23, of Eldon, MO, was traveling east at Highway 52 and Highway 54 in Miller County when she failed to yield to a 2023 Ford F150, driven by Arthur Widman, 70, of Eldon, MO, resulting in the F150 hitting the Escape.

Arthur Widman and a passenger in his vehicle, Robert Widman, 31, also of Eldon, MO, suffered moderate injuries and were taken by EMS to Lake Regional Hospital. All involved were wearing their seat belts. The Escape had minor damage while the F150 had moderate damage.

The weekly accidents ended last Saturday with a two-vehicle accident in Miller County.

At 11:00 a.m., a 2017 Nissan Maxima was being driven by Michell Pfahl, 54, of Kaiser, MO, east on Highway 242 at Blue Ridge Road when the vehicle began to slow to make a left turn.

A 1999 Chevrolet Suburban, driven by Robert Roark, 73, of Brumley, MO, also going east, hit the rear of the Nissan.

Pfahl received minor injuries and was taken by Miller County EMS to Lake Regional Hospital. Both drivers were wearing their seat belts.

The Nissan was totaled while the Suburban had extensive damage.

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