PORTAGEVILLE -- A Sikeston man died of injuries sustained in an automobile accident that slowed traffic for several hours Friday on Interstate 55 near Portageville.
According to Missouri State Highway Patrol, the accident occurred at 5:30 a.m. on I-55, four miles north of Portageville, as northbound motorist Charles R. Dehn, 45, of Centralia, Ill., who was operating a freightliner, struck the rear of the northbound vehicle driven by Patrick B. Bradley, 34, of New Madrid. Bradley's vehicle ran off the right side of the road and overturned. Dehn's vehicle crossed the median and came to a rest in the ditch.
Bradley's passenger, Phillip Johnson, 48, of Sikeston was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m. by New Madrid County Deputy Coroner Ralph Barnwell. Bradley and Dehn were reportedly uninjured.
Following the accident, I-55 was reduced to one line at mile marker 37, which is about three miles north of the Portageville exit. It reopened around 12:30 p.m. Friday.