Questions of Safety Follow Fatal Crash on Interstate 44 Near St. Clair
Posted on February 3rd, 2016 by Zane Cagle
Following the death of two people in a Sunday night motor vehicle crash on Interstate 44, some are asking questions about the safety of that particular section of the interstate.
St. Clair Crash
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a semi-truck was leaving the rest area and merged onto Interstate 44 when a car driving eastbound crashed into the back of the semi-truck. The driver of the passenger car died and the passenger later died at the hospital.
Concerns Over Interstate Safety
Drivers on Monday expressed their safety concerns about the rest area, saying that it is “tricky” because it sits in the middle of the interstate and drivers only have a short distance to merge into the fast lane.
Those leaving the rest stop have to merge directly into the fast lane, and big trucks often have trouble getting up the speed they need in a relatively short merging lane, according to St. Clair Police Chief Bill Hammack.
“Driving eastbound, you pass a car that’s going 65 mph, and all of a sudden run up to a truck going 25 mph,” said Hammack, “You’ve really got to be aware of your surroundings.”
Missouri Highway Officials
Sgt Al Northum from the Missouri Highway Patrol said he was not sure if this section of the I-44 had been a problem spot before but acknowledged anytime there is a fatal accident, it deserves evaluation. Currently, the crash remains under investigation but Nothum says distracted driving could have played a role.
Greg Horn, the Missouri Department of Transportation’s district engineer for the St. Louis region said the rest stop’s design was “not typical“. He said the engineers first planned to analyze the patrol’s crash report to find out the cause before deciding if design changes could improve the rest stop. “We understand there are concerns” said Horn, regarding the safety of the rest stop area. Data from 2010-2014 shows 28 crashes near the St. Clair rest stop, including one fatal crash. Horn indicated that was about an average number compared to other rest stops.
Interstate 44 Crashes
Unfortunately, we read about serious and fatal car crashes on Interstate 44 far too often. Looking back at 2015 at the stores reported by our local news, there were at least eight crash incidents and several of those incidents involved multiple vehicles. In 2015, we wrote articles on and weather-related crashes on Interstate 44.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle crash and have sustained injuries, you will usually need to consult an expert car accident attorney. Our attorneys understand that the days, weeks and months following a crash are challenging in many ways. There are always many unanswered questions involving your injuries, medical treatment and whether or not the insurance company or companies will take care of your compensation. At The Cagle Law Firm, we specialize in motor vehicle crashes. We know you are looking for answers and we can help you find them.