Six people killed in car crashes and one drowning during Labor Day Holiday

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State trooper diverts traffic after the interstate was shut down on Friday at the 169 mile marker on I-44.  Photo was taken on I-44 at the 169 mile marker.

Photos by Sam Campbell

Last year, 13 people were killed over the Labor Day weekend. During this year's holiday weekend the Patrol investigated 201 traffic crashes, which included 144 injuries and four of the six fatalities.

St. Louis Police Department and Cuba Police Department each investigated one fatality. Troopers made 147 arrests for driving while intoxicated, compared to 175 arrests last year.

There were no boating fatalities over this year's Labor Day holiday. Troopers investigated three boating crashes with only one person injured, however one person drown while swimming in the Meramec River in Jefferson County.  Kurt P. Murphy, 39, of St. Louis, MO drowned on Fri., Aug. 31 but his body was not recovered until two days later.  He was not wearing a life jacket.

Troopers also arrested seven people for boating while intoxicated over the weekend. During 2011 Labor Day officers investigated 14 boating crashes, which included six injuries and two fatalities. Two people drowned and 19 people were arrested for boating while intoxicated during last year’s Labor Day weekend.

Many drivers found themselves stuck in traffic while traveling this past holiday weekend while state troopers worked 201 traffic accidents.  Photo was taken on I-44 at the 169 mile marker.

On Saturday, September 1, 2012, two people were killed in traffic crashes. Odise Thomas Reece, 48, of St. Louis, died when he crossed the double yellow lines into both lanes of traffic while traveling on South Jefferson Avenue in St. Louis.

His vehicle struck a curb and a tree, then continued forward striking a second tree.  St. Louis Police Department handled the investigation. No further information is available.

David G. Hannah, 67, of Lincoln, MO, died when a vehicle struck him as he attempted to cross Missouri Route C west of Old Highway 63, in Benton County.

Benton County Sheriff's Department and Lincoln Police Department assisted at the scene. The driver of the vehicle that struck Hannah was not injured; he was wearing a seat belt.

Four people died in traffic crashes on Sunday, September 2, 2012. Thomas R.
Bruns, 51, of Cuba, MO, was killed after his vehicle ran off the roadway and struck a utility pole. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 19 at Belden Avenue in Crawford County. Bruns was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The Cuba Police Department investigated the crash.

Steven D. Brawley, 56, of Ellington, MO, died after the vehicle he was driving traveled off the roadway, struck a ditch, and overturned. Brawley was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 21 south of Ellington, MO, in Reynolds County.

Dylan C. Gruber, 23, of Hunnewell, MO, died when he lost control of his vehicle on a gravel road and traveled off the right side of the roadway striking a fence and utility pole. The vehicle then overturned numerous times.

Gruber was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. The crash occurred on Marion County Road 212 north of Hunnewell, MO, in Marion County. Marion County Sheriff's Office, Monroe City Fire Department, and Monroe City Ambulance assisted at the scene.

Brandin D. Hatheway, 24, of Savannah, MO, died when the motorcycle he was driving overtook a vehicle and struck it on the rear passenger side. He was ejected from the motor cycle.

The driver of the vehicle was wearing a seat belt and was not injured. The crash occurred on Missouri Highway 71 Business Route at County Road 445 in Andrew County. Hatheway was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.  The Andrew County Sheriff's Department, Savannah Police Department, and Andrew County EMS assisted at the scene.