Missouri Highway Patrol Reports Nine Fatalities Over Thanksgiving Holiday

Nine fatalities are being reported by the Missouri Highway Patrol over the Thanksgiving Holiday this year.

Troopers responded to 457 crashes with 114 injuries, 125 DWI’s and 72 drug arrests.

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The Thanksgiving holiday counting period started on Wednesday night at 6 and ran through 11:59 last (Sunday) night.

Troopers investigated all nine of the traffic crash fatalities. Three of the fatalities occurred in the Troop C, Weldon Spring, MO, area; three fatalities occurred in the Troop A, Lee’s Summit, MO, area; and one fatality occurred in each of the Troop E, Poplar Bluff, MO, Troop G, Willow Springs, MO, and Troop H, St. Joseph, MO, areas.

Three people died Friday, November 26, 2021. Rita J. Overstreet, 59, of Doniphan, MO, died when she drove into the path of another vehicle. Overstreet was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, which occurred in Butler County on U.S. Highway 67 at Country Road 323. Dr. Guthikonda pronounced Overstreet deceased at Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center. A passenger in Overstreet’s vehicle sustained serious injuries in the crash. She was not wearing a seat belt. The driver and passenger in the other vehicle sustained serious injuries in the crash. Neither were wearing a seat belt.

Jerry W. Cantrell, 77, and Delores J. Cantrell, 77, both of Independence, MO, died when the vehicle Jerry was driving crossed Missouri Highway 291 into the path of another vehicle. Both were wearing seat belts. Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office Investigator Lauren Hoff pronounced both Cantrells dead at the scene. The crash occurred in Jackson County on Missouri Highway 291 at Cement City Road. The driver of the other vehicle sustained serious injuries in the crash. He was not wearing a seat belt.

Two people died in traffic crashes on Saturday, November 27, 2021. Bradley A. Collins, 62, of Spickard, MO, died when the motorcycle he was operating failed to negotiate a curve and traveled across the center line, off the roadway, and struck an embankment. The motorcycle then came to rest on its side on the train tracks. Collins was not wearing a helmet and was ejected. The crash occurred in Grundy County on Missouri Route C at Spickard. Deputy Coroner Steve Tracy pronounced Collins deceased at the scene of the crash.

A 13-year-old from Cabool, MO, died when the vehicle in which she was a passenger traveled off the right side of the roadway, overturned, and struck a fence. She was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Texas County on Missouri Highway 181 two miles south of Cabool, MO. The Texas County Chief Deputy Rowdy Douglas pronounced the passenger dead at the scene. The driver, 14, and a second passenger,13, also from Cabool, sustained serious and minor injuries, respectively. Neither were wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Four people died in traffic crashes on Sunday, November 28, 2021. Vatina A. Gillespie, 52, of Kingsville, MO, died when she began to pass a vehicle and struck another vehicle head on. She was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, which occurred in Johnson County on Missouri Highway 58 one mile north of Missouri Route F. Johnson County Coroner Clark Holdren pronounced Gillespie deceased at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle sustained minor injuries. He was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

A triple fatality traffic crash took the lives of Aliyah R. Tatum, 21, of Florissant, MO, Dion Martin, 24, of St. Louis, MO, and Kenrick G. Smalling, 24, of St. Louis, MO. The vehicle Smalling was operating was traveling too fast for conditions and he lost control. The vehicle started to slide, struck the left side of another vehicle, continued to slide, and struck a second vehicle. Smalling’s vehicle then traveled off the right side of the road, started to roll, and struck a chain link fence. Neither Smalling nor his passengers were wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in St. Louis County on Interstate 270 west of West Florissant Road. A member of the Ferguson Fire Department pronounced Smalling dead at the scene of the crash. Dr. Muller pronounced Martin deceased at Christian Hospital Northeast. Dr. Christensen pronounced Tatum deceased at SSM DePaul Hospital. The driver of the first vehicle Smalling’s vehicle struck sustained moderate injuries in the crash; she was wearing a seat belt. Three passengers in that vehicle sustained minor injuries; all were wearing seat belts. The driver of the second vehicle Smalling’s vehicle struck was not injured; he was wearing a seat belt.