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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Patrol seeks driver causing fatal accident

Monday, April 21, 2003

POPLAR BLUFF -- The Missouri State Highway Patrol is seeking the whereabouts of a pickup truck suspected of causing of two accidents Saturday.

Sgt. Larry Plunkett of the Missouri State Highway Patrol described the vehicle as a red Ford pickup truck pulling a black utility trailer carrying split firewood.

Plunkett said the vehicle was suspected of contributing to a fatal accident around 12:30 p.m. Saturday on Interstate 55, four miles north of Benton. Daniel P. Ryan Jr., 18, was killed after his sport utility vehicle swerved to avoid logs that came loose from the trailer. The vehicle overturned into the median, ejecting him, patrol officials said. Ryan was then run over by another vehicle, which sideswiped a fourth vehicle trying to avoid him, patrol officials said.

The other accident happened just north of Miner at approximately 12:20 p.m. Saturday. Plunkett said the same truck was suspected of being the cause of the highway debris contributing to a motorcycle accident on I-55. Driver Elliex Wooden Jr., 56, and passenger Linda Norfleet, 49, both of Memphis, were taken to Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston with moderate injuries.

"We believe the (pickup truck) driver was in Sikeston and heading back to the Cape Girardeau area," Plunkett noted earlier today. "We've also alerted media in St. Louis so we're hoping to catch the driver somewhere in between."

Although the highway patrol has received a few phone calls concerning the accidents, Plunkett said the highway patrol is still asking anyone with information about either accident or knew the whereabouts of the red Ford truck to call the patrol at (573) 840-9500.