Anyone who drives an interstate with regularity may be aware that traffic can get tied up at anytime of the day or night. Unfortunately, sudden traffic jams may still catch a driver off guard.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol believes that the driver of a 16-passenger van may not have recognized a traffic jam early Thursday morning in time. Authorities say that the driver of the van clipped a car before crashing into a tractor trailer that had slowed due to an accident earlier in the morning on Interstate 29, south of St. Joseph, Missouri.
The driver of the passenger van apparently was transporting a number of people to St. Joseph Thursday. Authorities say that the driver and his wife were killed instantly in the early morning crash, which was reported shortly before 5:00 a.m. Eight relatives of the couple were seriously injured in the wreck. At least some of the passengers work at a plant in St. Joseph, Missouri and authorities believe the van was on a morning commute to the plant.
State troopers say that the driver of the car originally struck in the multi-vehicle traffic crash was also injured. The nine people who sustained injuries and survived were taken to a hospital in St. Joseph.
Authorities say that the accident victims suffered a wide variety of serious injuries. Missouri troopers report that some of the accident victims sustained broken bones, while others suffered head injuries in the wreck.
The crash left an entire family—and a community—devastated. The couple who lost their lives and all of the passengers in the van are originally from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). They came to this country as refugees.
Source: KCTV 5, “Two dead, 9 injured in massive wreck on I-29 near St. Joe,” Chris Oberholtz, Heather Staggers, Rand Laura McCallister, May 9, 2013; St. Joe Channel KQ2, “Fatal Accident Closes Northbound I-29,” May 9, 2013