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Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on March 2nd, 2015,
by Zane Cagle

Weather-Related Crashes Take Toll on Missouri Highways

Posted on March 2nd, 2015 by Zane Cagle



Traffic on Missouri highways was treacherous this weekend.  Three fatalities were reported over the weekend on Interstate 44 and Interstate 70.

Saturday- Interstate 44

In case you didn’t hear or watch any news this weekend, you are probably one of the few that has not heard about the 20-30 car pile up on Interstate 44 near mile marker 184 in Rolla on Saturday.

In this initial crash, according to police,  multiple people were injured after a Greyhound bus caused an accident that turned into a 20-30-vehicle crash. The Greyhound bus was driving on Interstate 44 near Rolla when it rear-ended a tractor trailer. Fifty-five people were onboard the bus and eleven of those were suffered minor injuries and were taken to Phelps county Medical Center.

After this crash, multiple other crashes occurred, an estimated 20-30 cars were involved including multiple tractor trailers.  It took authorities until almost 7 p.m. on Sunday evening to completely clear all of the vehicles from the incident.

Hazmat officers have been working to clean up all flammable liquid that spilled from the tractor trailer.

Fatal Crash on Saturday- on Interstate 44

Two people died after a driver lost control on a snow covered highway in southern Missouri.  The MSHP said the out-of-control car skidded into a tractor trailer that was stopped Saturday afternoon because of the aforementioned multiple car crash on Interstate 44. The driver,  a 20 year-old Fort Leonard Wood man escaped with minor injuries, but both passengers were ejected and killed. The patrol identified the two fatal victims as a 27 year old Wichita, KS man and a man from Los Angeles, CA.

Sunday- Interstate 70

A 25 year-old O’Fallon woman was killed in a truck accident on eastbound Interstate 70 at Bryan Road in O’Fallon. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that the woman’s car slid off of a snow-covered roadway while merging on the interstate and was t-boned by a semi while trying to come back into the lanes of traffic.

“Minor Injuries vs. Serious Injuries”

Authorities and emergency responders classify injuries based on the life-threatening severity. First responders must evaluate a car crash victim immediately to determine if they have minor, moderate, or severe injuries. As well, they are faced with victims of fatal vehicle crashes. This weekend, ambulance personnel, fire departments, Missouri State Highway Patrol and hospital staff had enormous tasks. To everyone’s relief, the huge multi-vehicle pile up did not produce any “serious” injuries or fatalities.  All injuries were classified as “minor to moderate” which simply means, none of them were life-threatening. Seems remarkable when you look at the wreckage to imagine that there were not some life-threatening injuries.

However, what is classified as a “minor or moderate” injury can in fact be a life changing injury. Often issues of back and neck injuries are attributed to initial soreness.  Possibly, x-rays are completed to be sure the patient has no broken bones, but then they are released from the hospital. The primary purpose of the ER is to diagnose life-threatening injuries. It is assumed after a car crash you will experience some pain and soreness or “muscle strain”, however, you need to closely monitor your injuries. After being treated in the ER, it is always a good idea for follow up with your primary care doctor within a few days to a week (usually the ER will tell you). If your pain is not better, you need to see your primary care doctor so that he/she may refer you to a specialist for more diagnostic tests to determine the extent of your injury. Some “minor” to “moderate” injuries can take weeks to months to heal. Closely monitoring your progress is important. A life changing injury is an injury that requires months of medical treatment

Insurance Negotiations

Because you may not know the full extent of your injuries or the length of time of required medical treatment, you should hesitate to settle your bodily injury claim right away with the insurance company. In reality, we always advise people to wait 60-90 days before thinking about settling with an insurance company which gives you a good idea of whether your injury is going to require more medical treatment.

Today, insurance companies begin the process of sorting through the multiple car pile up regarding potential injuries, property damage, and liability issues. While snow was a factor, no doubt, there will be a great deal of scrutiny as to what incident triggered the colossal crash. Also, were other drivers simply following too closely or driving to fast for conditions?  It is very difficult to assess fault when I have only watched television footage and seen photos of the crash. However, investigators have been or will be looking at the crash data, crash scene and determining many of the variable in the incident. If you were injured, then you may need an experienced St. Louis auto accident attorney. When multiple vehicles are involved, the liability and road conditions make insurance negotiations somewhat complicated.

Loss of life

Three lives were lost this weekend on two of the major interstates running through the St. Louis area, two near Lebanon, MO and one in O’Fallon, MO. In both of these crashes, semi-trucks were involved. If you have lost a loved one, you may need an experienced wrongful death attorney depending on the circumstances of the crash. Just a each individual is unique, so are the facts of the crash.

Our attorneys are available seven days a week for offer free confidential consultations toll free 1-800-685-3302 and locally 314-276-1681