The Missouri Department of Transportation is limiting access to Highway 54 at the Key Largo Road intersection effectively immediately. Vehicles on Osage Beach Parkway will have no access to Highway 54 in either direction. The closest access to the highway will be the interchange at Route KK.
The immediate changes are due to a serious crash that occurred at the intersection around 10 a.m. on Saturday.
A Chevy Silverado pickup truck was T-boned at the intersection.
Robert L. Bullock, 78, of St. James, was exiting the Osage Beach Parkway and attempting to turn onto westbound Highway 54 when he drove into the path of a Ford Escape being driven by 17-year-old Scott J. Derr, of Springfield. Derr was traveling on eastbound Highway 54 when he struck the pickup truck.
According to information provided by the Osage Beach Police Department, both drivers required extrication.
The department described both drivers' injuries as "disabling".
Staff For Life helicopter was called in to transport the injured, but was called off. The drivers were transported to Lake Regional Health System by ambulance.
Due to the severity of the crash, Missouri State Highway Patrol's Reconstruction Team was called in to investigate the crash further.
Officials from several departments made the decision to shut down portions of the intersection immediately. The closest access to Highway 54 for drivers on Osage Beach Parkway will be the interchange at Route KK, about one mile east of the intersection. Drivers on Key Largo Road will still be able to make right and left-hand turns onto the highway.
Less than a week ago, the Missouri Department of Transportion held a public meeting about the intersection. The department conducted a one-day traffic study which showed that more than 1,300 vehicles from the Osage Beach Parkway were attempting to access the intersection. The intersection was designed for about 1,000 vehicles total, coming from both the Osage Beach Parkway side and the Key Largo Road side.
Since January 1, there had been five crashes at the intersection, excluding the one that occurred on Saturday, resulting in three serious injuries.
With those factors in mind, MoDOT officials said it was time to look at ways of making the intersection safer and was asking for public input at the meeting on Wednesday evening.
Shutting down access to Highway 54 from the Osage Beach Parkway side was one of three options presented at the meeting.