Fatal Accident In Columbia

Fatal Accident In Columbia

Hope Christian Church is having a Prayer Vigil tonight, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. to pray for the family involved in today's very bad accident on Rt. 3 in Columbia. The mother passed away and all six of her children are hospitalized. Two are in critical condition. All prayers are appreciated.

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One person has died and six children are injured, one critically, in a two-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon on Rt. 3 in Columbia. The accident involved a dump truck out of Millstadt slamming into the driver's side of Chevy Suburban. The woman driving the Suburban was from Columbia. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Three of her six children were transported by ambulance to area hospitals. At least of children is listed in critical condition. 

The northbound lanes of Route 3 through Columbia remained closed until 4:50 p.m., as police officers from Columbia and ISP worked to reconstruct the scene as part of their investigation into the cause. Traffic was detoured along Main Street and Bluff Road. 

The initial report is that just after 12:30 p.m., a dump truck (with Don Eccher printed on its door panel) with a load of grain was traveling north on Rt. 3 (Admiral Parkway) through Columbia. The truck is reported to have proceeded through the Veterans Parkway intersection and broadsided the driver’s side of the Suburban. The Suburban was driving along Veterans Parkway cutting across Rt. 3 to head to the Columbia Centre / West Park area of town.

Following the massive collision, the dump truck's momentum pushed the Suburban up the road about 150 feet. Both vehicles came to rest in the northbound lanes of Rt. 3 between Veterans Parkway and Wedgewood Drive. Inside the Suburban were a mom and six children under the age of 18. The mother died at the scene. All six children were transported to area hospitals. The extent of the children's injuries ranges from minor to critical. The driver of the truck did not appear to be seriously injured, but was also transported to the hospital. 

Red Bud firefighter Curt Guebert witnessed the accident. He rushed to the SUV, cut the children out of their seat belts and helped them get to a safe spot on the shoulder of the road. Columbia police, ambulance and fire crews arrived soon after to handle the situation. 

Names and additional information has not yet been released as the investigation continues and relatives are notified.