Eight people died in traffic crashes during the 2015 Labor Day holiday weekend. Last year, there were six fatalities. The 2015 counting period for the Labor Day holiday ran from 6 p.m., Friday, September 4, through 11:59 p.m., Monday, September 7, 2015. During this period, the Patrol investigated 348 traffic crashes, which included 167 injuries and eight fatalities. Troopers made 121 arrests for driving while intoxicated in 2015, compared to 77 arrests last year. (Note: In 2014, troopers investigated 274 traffic crashes, which included 120 injuries and three of the fatalities.)
There was one boating fatality over the 2015 Labor Day holiday. Troopers investigated 10 boating crashes involving 13 injuries. There were three drownings reported. Troopers also arrested 23 people for boating while intoxicated over the weekend. During the 2014 Labor Day weekend, officers investigated 13 boating crashes, which included five injuries and zero fatalities. There were no drownings in 2014. Troopers arrested 14 people for boating while intoxicated during last year’s Labor Day weekend.
Of the eight traffic crash fatalities troopers investigated, two occurred in each of the following areas: Troop D, Springfield, MO, area; Troop E, Poplar Bluff, MO, area; and Troop F, Jefferson City, MO, area. One fatality occurred in Troop A, Lee’s Summit, MO; and Troop I, Rolla, MO, area.
One fatality occurred on Friday, September 4, 2015, during the counting period. Brian G. Rippeto, 48, of St. James, MO, died as the motorcycle he was driving traveled off the left side of the roadway striking a rock bluff before coming to rest. The crash occurred in Maries County on U.S. Highway 63 south of Missouri Highway A as his motorcycle was overtaking another vehicle. Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman pronounced Rippeto dead at the scene. The Maries County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene.
Four fatalities occurred on Saturday, September 5, 2015. Patricia A. Pilcher, 52, of Fayette, MO, died when the motorcycle she was riding struck a deer in the roadway. Pilcher was ejected from the motorcycle. The crash occurred in Howard County on Missouri Highway 240 east of County Road 422. Dr. Tanner pronounced Pilcher dead at University Hospital. The Howard County Sheriff’s Department and Fayette Police Department responded to the scene.
Lane J. Holem, 11, of Florence, MO, died when he lost control of the John Deere tractor he was driving, traveled off the right side of the roadway, through a ditch, and up an embankment. Holem was ejected from the tractor, which then struck him. The tractor came to rest in the ditch. The crash occurred in Morgan County on Missouri Route DD west of Missouri Highway 135. Holem was pronounced deceased at the scene by authority of Dr. William Dennis at University Hospital. The Florence Fire Department, Morgan County Sheriff’s Department, and Morgan County Coroner Dr. Bill Jones responded to the scene.
Carmen N. Munoz, 78, of Bragg City, MO, died when another driver failed to yield and pulled into the path of Munoz’s vehicle. The crash occurred in Pemiscot County on Missouri Route J at Missouri Route C west of Deering, MO. Munoz was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The driver of the vehicle that failed to yield sustained serious injuries; that driver was wearing a seat belt. Dr. Walt Short pronounced Munoz dead at Twin Rivers Hospital.
Donald W. Egelston, 63, of Lincoln, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving traveled off the left side of the roadway, crossed the median, and struck a northbound vehicle head on. The crash occurred in Pettis County on northbound U.S. 65 Highway at Manilla Road. Egelston was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. A passenger in Egelston’s vehicle sustained serious injuries; it is unknown whether or not he was wearing a seat belt. The driver of the vehicle Egelston’s vehicle struck sustained serious injuries; she was wearing a seat belt. A passenger in the vehicle Egelston’s vehicle struck sustained moderate injuries; she was wearing a seat belt. Dr. Jacob Quick pronounced Egelston dead at University Hospital. The Pettis County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene.
Two fatality crashes occurred on September 6, 2015. Joshua M. Hamilton, 21, of Rockaway Beach, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving failed to negotiate a curve. The vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree. The crash occurred in Taney County on Missouri Highway 76 west of Bradleyville, MO. Hamilton was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Dr. De Tar pronounced Hamilton dead at Cox Hospital.
Damian A. Winters, 14, of Oxly, MO, died when the vehicle in which he was a passenger ran off the roadway, struck an embankment, and overturned. Winters, the driver, and another passenger were ejected from the vehicle. The crash occurred in Ripley County on County Road T3 north of Oxly, MO. Winters was not wearing a seat belt. The driver of the vehicle was not injured; a second passenger sustained moderate injuries; neither were wearing a seat belt. Ripley County Coroner Mike Jackson pronounced Winters dead at the scene.
One crash occurred on Labor Day, September 7, 2015. Dakota R. Vest, 17, of Weableau, MO, died when he fell out of the bed of a truck in which he was a passenger. The crash occurred in St. Clair County on County Road 1131 north of Humansville, MO. Vest was taken to a paramedic’s residence where Deputy Polk County Coroner Melissa Britton pronounced him dead.
The one boating fatality occurred in Camden County on the Lake of the Ozarks on Labor Day, September 7, 2015. No further information is available at this time.
One person drowned on September 5, 2015. Cody D. Rush, 30, of Jefferson City, MO, was reported as missing. His body was recovered September 6, 2015. He drowned near the Bonnots Mill river access on the Osage River. Rush was not wearing a life jacket. Deputy Coroner Mike Thomas pronounced Rush dead.
Two people drowned on Labor Day, September 7, 2015. Danny G. Maddux, 64, of Barnhart, MO, was traveling in a canoe and floated onto a gravel bar. Maddux exited the canoe, fell and severely injured a leg, then traveled downstream for assistance. He attempted to cross the river, went under water, and failed to resurface. Maddux was not wearing a life jacket. The drowning occurred 100 yards downstream of the Meramec State Park boat ramp on the Meramec River. Missouri Baptist Ambulance personnel pronounced Maddux dead. Missouri State Park Rangers, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Franklin County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene.
Joseph R. Borgschulte, 55, of Sedgewickville, MO, was swimming and began to struggle to stay afloat. Borgschulte then submerged and did not resurface. He was not wearing a life jacket. The drowning occurred in a private lake on County Road 204 near Sedgewickville. Bollinger County Deputy coroner Calvin Troxell pronounced Borgschulte dead at the scene.
NOTE: The fatality statistics in this news release could change if late deaths occur, if other departments report fatal traffic/boating crashes after this news release was published, or if a fatality is determined to be caused by a medical condition rather than traffic/boating incident.