At least 10 die statewide in holiday accidents
SIKESTON - Two people were killed when their car was hit by a Scott County Sheriff's Department car responding to an emergency, bringing to at least 10 the number of traffic fatalities in Missouri during the holiday weekend.
Evelyn Orman, 41, and Brittany Gates, 12, both of Sikeston, were pronounced dead at the site where a Scott County deputy hit the car Orman was driving about 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said. The patrol said they were taken to Nunnelee Funeral Chapel in Sikeston.
The patrol said Deputy Steven T. Shoemaker, 51, of Oran, was northbound on U.S. 61 near Sikeston and tried to pass Orman's car as it was trying to make a left turn. The deputy's cruiser hit the left rear of Orman's car, and Orman was thrown out, the patrol said.
Emergency lights were flashing on the cruiser, but it was not known if its siren was operating. Shoemaker, who was wearing a seat belt, suffered what the patrol described as minor injuries. The two other people in Orman's car were seriously injured. James "Walter" Gates, 51, and Ashley A. Gates, 11, both of Sikeston, were air lifted to St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau.
In other accidents reported by the patrol during the New Year's weekend, Thomas Smith, 15, of St. Joseph was fatally injured about 2 a.m. Tuesday when the vehicle he was in went off a Buchanan County road into a ravine, the patrol said.
The car's occupants fled before troopers arrived. Smith was later found at his home and was taken to a hospital, where he died.
Frank Akers, 88, of Potosi died Sunday when his car went off Route AA in Washington County, overturned and struck a tree.
Wilma Walkenhorst, 75, of New Haven, died Sunday when she lost control of the pickup truck she was driving in Washington and struck a concrete barrier, Washington police said.
James Aldrich, 35, of Oak Grove, died Sunday when he was thrown from his overturning car on Interstate 70 in Jackson County.
Amanda McGehe, 16, of Hannibal died Sunday when her car went off the side of Ralls County Route V near New London and struck a tree.
Sheryll Gasperoni, 24, of St. Louis, died Saturday evening when the car she was riding in went off the side of an Interstate 170 exit ramp in north St. Louis County.
John Stuart, 84, of Bunker, was killed Saturday when he was thrown from his car as it overturned on Reynolds County Route PP five miles west of Bunker.
Candace Kraft, 18, of Liberty, died in a one-car wreck in Clay County early Saturday. Kraft's car left the road and caught fire in a rural area, police said.
Last year, 12 people died on Missouri roads during the New Year's holiday counting period. This year's period began at 6 p.m. Friday and ended at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.