On July 29, 2005 outside of St. Louis Missouri, a dump truck killed a family of five on their way to six flags off interstate 44 about 20 miles west of St. Louis, Missouri. The dump truck with a full load of rocks rear ended their minivan which was engulfed in flames and the five occupants were pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the truck, Thomas Miskel of Imperial Missouri was not seriously injured but could face criminal manslaughter charges. Witnesses told police that the dump truck driver did not see traffic slowing in front of him until it was too late. Five years ago, five members of a family on their way to Six Flags were killed when their car was hit by a tractor trailer. Several weeks later a tour bus driver and another person were killed near the same spot.
I know that this stretch of I-44 near St. Louis Missouri in Eureka Missouri has been the scene of several fatal accidents over the last five years. I have observed the changes made by MDOT to this stretch of Interstate 44 outside of St. Louis because I get off at this exit almost every day on my way home. It is much safer than it used to be. It now has two exit lanes almost a half of a mile before the exit and clear markings that both lanes are exit lanes for Six Flags. During the summer due to the high traffic volume to Six Flags, traffic sometimes slows down, and drivers also can be distracted by Six Flags. This is now basically a safe exit if drivers pay attention to the potential back ups and traffic slowing.
Please be careful on the highways. Pay attention and always buckle up. Don’t let a fun summer excursion turn into a tragedy.