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 July 11, 2018

One fatality as child drowns on fourth of July holiday

LAKE OF THE OZARKS An Illinois boy is the only fatality over the July 4 holiday on the roads or the water and that was due to drowning.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) On July 4 at 4:05 p.m. at the 21 Mile Marker of the Osage Arm in Salt Hollow Cove, Eric Dietrich, 13, of Genesco, Illinois, Jumped off a stationary boat into the water and did not resurface.

The MSHP believe the boy had a medical condition. The Mid-County Fire Protection District and Dive Team responded to the scene. Dietrich was recovered at 8:47 p.m. on July 4 and he was pronounced dead at the scene by Medical Examiner Crystal Lloyd.

In other lake area accidents during the holiday counting period:

Earlier that same day a collision involving two PWCs left a man with minor injuries.

According to the MSHP, a 2016 Sea Doo GTI SE, operated by Kurt Foust, 21, of Des Moines, IA, was idling at the .8 Mile Marker on the main channel near Jennings Brach Cove when a second PWC struck the rear of the Sea Doo.

The second PWC left the scene and information about that vehicle and the driver is unknown. Foust received minor injuries and refused medical treatment at the scene.

An accident on the lake the evening before (July 3) left a Lees Summit man with moderate injuries.

At 8:20 p.m. a 2007 Kawasaki PWC was at the 4.1 Mile Marker of the Osage Arm when the driver, Jeffrey Gregg, 49, struck rough water and was ejected from the PWC.

He was taken to Lake Regional Hospital by Lake Ozark Fire Department Medic 22 with moderate injuries.

There were no traffic crashes reported by the MSHP during the holiday counting period in the lake area.

The 2018 July Fourth holiday counting period began at 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 3, to 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, July 4, 2018.

Statewide accidents

Statewide there were a total of 114 crashes, 59 injuries, three fatalities, 40 DWI and 38 drug arrests on the roads.

On the waters throughout the state, there were five crashes, two injuries, zero fatalities, two drownings, three BWI and eight drug arrests.

During the 102-hour counting period in 2017, 26 people were killed and 469 injured statewide in Missouri over the holiday in 1,076 traffic crashes.

Over the 2017 July Fourth holiday, troopers arrested 172 people for driving while intoxicated.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated one fatal traffic crash occurring within the 2018 July Fourth counting period. The Kansas City Police Department investigated two traffic fatalities.

The fatality crash troopers investigated occurred in the Troop G, Willow Springs, MO, area. The remaining fatalities occurred in the Troop A, Kansas City, MO, area.

There were no fatal traffic crashes reported on July 3, 2018, during the counting period.

Three fatalities occurred on July 4, 2018 and all three involved motorcycles.

Austin C. King, 22, of Smithton, IL, died when the motorcycle he was operating struck a deer in the roadway, traveled off the left side of the road, and struck a guard rail.

The crash occurred in Reynolds County, on Missouri Highway 21 north of Ellington, MO. King was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Reynolds County Assistant Coroner Tom Stout pronounced King deceased.

Nicholas J. Bowman, 29, of Blue Springs, MO, died when the motorcycle he was operating struck a curb. Both Bowman and a passenger were ejected. The crash occurred in Jackson County as Bowman was exiting Interstate 35 to 12th Street.

The passenger sustained serious injuries in the crash. It is unknown whether or not Bowman and his passenger were wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Kansas City Police Department officers investigated.

Derrick D. Iverson, 41, of Kansas City, MO, died when the motorcycle he was operating failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, left the roadway, struck a curb, continued through the median, and struck a tree.

The crash occurred in Jackson County at 104th Street and Holmes Road. It is unknown whether or not Iverson was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Kansas City Police Department officers investigated.

In addition to the Lake of the Ozarks drowning, a second drowning occurred on the eastside of the state.

Cole J. Duffell, 19, of Chesterfield, MO, drowned after he jumped off an embankment into a quarry in Madison County north of Fredericktown, MO.

Madison County Coroner Collin Follis pronounced Duffell deceased. Cape Girardeau County Dive Team also responded to the scene. Duffell was recovered at 5:18 p.m. July 4.

NOTE: The fatality statistics during the holiday period could change if late deaths occur, if other departments report fatalities after this news release was sent out, or if a fatality is determined to be caused by a medical condition rather than a traffic incident.

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