SIKESTON -- Tragedy struck the 50th Annual Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo early Sunday morning when a man was struck by a utility truck and killed.
About 12:45 a.m. Sunday officers with the Sikeston Department of Public Safety working the rodeo received a report that a subject that had been run over with a vehicle.
When officers arrived in the east parking lot at the rodeo grounds, a subject, later identified as Michael B. Krebs, 35, of Grandview, was found dead. A preliminary investigation indicated that Krebs was lying near the back tires on the passenger side of the vehicle when he was struck.
"We have no clue why he was there," said Drew Juden, director of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety.
Juden said the Scott County coroner collected blood from Krebs for a blood test, however, it will take four to six weeks for the results to come back.
The driver of the vehicle, Lloyd Stoner Jr. of Sikeston, was moving the vehicle to assist in removal of the rodeo scoreboard. Stoner started the vehicle and allowed it to run for a short time prior to moving the vehicle. As he pulled forward, the rear passenger-side's tires of the truck struck Krebs.
Juden said Stoner had not been drinking. "He voluntarily submitted to a blood alcohol test and it showed he had not consumed any alcohol," Juden said. "He let the vehicle run for 10-15 minutes before moving it and as far as we know Krebs was there the whole time."
Juden described the incident as a freak accident. "I never would have imagined that someone would be killed at the rodeo in that set of circumstances," Juden said. "I don't know of any way it could have been avoided."
The Sikeston Jaycees issued a statement reflecting their sympathy. "The Sikeston Jaycees and their families are deeply saddened by the accident at the rodeo grounds early Sunday morning," the statement said. "The loss of this young man was a tragedy. Our sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to his family. We are also concerned about the Jaycees involved and their families and the burden this tragedy has placed upon them.
"The Jaycees always strive to put on a safe rodeo. The safety of our patrons is our primary concern."
Both Juden and the Jaycees thanked the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Scott County Sheriff's Department and the Scott County Coroner for their assistance.
"It was a tough set of circumstances and all the agencies worked very diligently to make sure the situation was handled properly," Juden said.