Fatal Truck Accident outside St. Louis on Interstate 44

By June 28, 2007 Trucking Accidents

Five people were killed on Interstate 44 outside St. Louis in a collision involving two tractor trailers, a car, and two SUV’s The collision occurred about 5:00 p.m. when a tractor trailer struck the rear end of a car that had slowed on the far right lane of I-44, just east of the Bowles Avenue exit ramp according to the Missouri Highway Patrol. Investigators are trying to determine why the tractor trailer did not slow down. The woman driving the car died at the scene and the truck driver who struck her was taken to the hospital where he also died. Five others in 2 SUV’s and the other tractor trailer were taken to the hospital with minor to moderate injuries.
The I-44 corridor between Interstate 270 and Grey Summit is considered one of the most dangerous corridors in the state. There have been at least 19 crashes with 33 deaths in the last seven years along this 25 mile stretch of road.
This trucking accident blog has previous entries regarding some of the fatalities, many of them occurred near the Six Flags St. Louis exit which is 13 miles west of the crash scene. In July 2005 a dump truck slammed into a mini van near the Six Flags exit, killing five family members from St. Charles on their way to Six Flags. In July 2000 five family members were killed when their van crossed over the center line on I-44 and was hit broad-side by a tractor trailer.
Missouri Department of Transportation officials have made several improvements to improve the safety at the Six Flags exit which is the site of most of the deadly accidents. The improvements include better signage, two dedicated exit lanes to Six Flags on I-44 westbound.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has also done work on the Bowles Avenue ramp several years ago to improve traffic flow in and out of the Chrysler plant in Fenton.
These accidents show that no matter how safe or what changes are made, there are still going to be accidents due primarily to driver inattention, fatigue, and/or poorly maintained equipment. More has to be done to improve the safety of our highways which should include decreasing the number of allowable hours a truck driver can drive without rest and shortening the maximum number of hours a driver can drive per week.