Seven traffic deaths, one boating death in Missouri over July 4th weekend, highway patrol reports

Gregory J. Holman
Springfield News-Leader

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported seven traffic deaths, one boating death and zero drownings during the July 4 holiday weekend.

Troopers worked 312 traffic crashes, including 124 injuries and the seven fatalities, MSHP said in a news release Tuesday. Troopers also made 144 DWI arrests and 81 drug arrests over the holiday weekend.

On Missouri waterways, troopers also worked 12 boating crashes, which included four injuries and one fatality. Troopers made eight boating while intoxicated arrests and 43 drug arrests. They reported no drownings in Missouri over the holiday weekend.

The numbers largely mark declines compared to last year, according to the patrol. During the 2020 Independence Day weekend, MSHP reported 15 people were killed and 671 injured statewide in Missouri in 1,356 traffic crashes. Troopers arrested 145 people for driving while intoxicated last year.

Also last year, the patrol reported 14 boating crashes with included seven injuries and zero fatalities. Two drowned during last year's holiday. Troopers made seven BWI arrests during the last year's counting period.

The news release detailed the incidents:

On Friday 15-year-old female from Norwood, who was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, died when the driver of the vehicle in which she was a passenger lost control. The vehicle traveled off the roadway and overturned.

The crash occurred in Wright County on Owens Road north of Norwood. Wright County Coroner Ben Hurtt pronounced the female dead at the scene. The driver and one other passenger were wearing seat belts; they sustained moderate injuries.

An investigation is pending on a Saturday boating fatality, and MSHP said no further information was available.

Four people died in Saturday traffic crashes, MSHP said.

Robert D. McDermid, 66, of Joplin, died after another vehicle failed to yield and struck McDermid’s vehicle. McDermid was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Jasper County on Missouri Highway 66 in Duquesne. Dr. Jennifer Kolodchak pronounced McDermid deceased at Mercy Hospital. The driver of the other vehicle was not wearing a seat belt; he sustained moderate injuries.

Shane A. Donty, 46, of Hillsboro, died after walking into the path of a vehicle on Missouri Highway 30 east of Northwest Boulevard in Jefferson County. North Jefferson County Ambulance paramedics pronounced Donty dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash; he was not injured.

Jeffery A. Smith, 35, of Stover, died when a vehicle turned left in front of the motorcycle he was operating. Smith was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Morgan County on Missouri Highway 52 west of Stevenson Lane. Deputy Coroner Katy Lutz pronounced Smith dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle was not wearing a seat belt; he was not injured in the crash.

Anela Ratkusic, 42, of St. Louis, died when another vehicle failed to yield and struck the vehicle in which she was a passenger. Ratkusic was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in St. Francois County on U.S. Highway 67 at Missouri Route Y. Ratkusic was pronounced dead by a physician at Parkland Health Center. The driver of the vehicle that struck Ratkusic’s vehicle was not wearing a seat belt; he sustained moderate injuries. The driver of the vehicle in which Ratkusic was a passenger was wearing a seat belt; he sustained moderate injuries. Three additional passengers in the vehicle with Ratkusic were wearing seat belts; they each sustained minor injuries in the crash. A passenger in the other vehicle was not wearing a seat belt; he sustained moderate injuries.

On Sunday, two people died in traffic crashes.

Storm J. Cooper, 29, of Tampa, Florida, died when the vehicle in which he was a passenger failed to stop at a stop sign and was struck by another vehicle. Cooper was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Greene County on Missouri Highway 266 west of Springfield. Medical Examiner Joshua Moore pronounced Cooper dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle in which Cooper was a passenger was wearing a seat belt; she sustained moderate injuries. The driver of the second vehicle in the crash was wearing a seat belt; he was not injured.

Dorcey R. Folsom, 39, of Buffalo, died after being struck by a vehicle. Folsom was running toward the vehicle at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Dallas County on Missouri Highway 32 east of Buffalo. Dallas County Coroner Matt Wisdom pronounced Folsom dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle was wearing a seat belt and was not injured.

Reach News-Leader reporter Gregory Holman by emailing gholman@gannett.com. Please consider subscribing to support vital local journalism.