Mother Is Killed And Her All Six Of Her Children Injured In Rt. 3 Accident

Mother Is Killed And Her All Six Of Her Children Injured In Rt. 3 Accident

photo - The Webb family, Emily and Bryan, along with their six children ages 4 to 13. 

The number of serious accidents continues to add up at one of the several busy Rt. 3 intersections in Columbia. One person has died and six children were injured in a horrific two-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 27, at Rt. 3 and Veterans Parkway. The accident involved a dump truck out of Millstadt slamming into the driver's side of Chevy Suburban.

The woman driving the Suburban, Emily Webb of Columbia, was pronounced dead at the scene. All six of her young children, ages 4 to 13, were inside her vehicle during the accident. Each child was transported by ambulance to area hospitals. Bryan Webb, Emily’s husband and father and the children, was notified soon after the accident.

The initial report is that just before 12:30 p.m., a 2000 Sterling dump truck driven by Don Eccher, 86, of Millstadt, was carrying a load of grain north on Rt. 3 (Admiral Parkway) through Columbia. The truck continued through the Veterans Parkway intersection. At the same time, Emily Webb, 41, was driving her Suburban filled with all her children along Veterans Parkway, cutting across Rt. 3 to head to the Columbia Centre / West Park area of town.

It appears Webb had the green light and continued through the intersection heading across Rt. 3. Skid marks show what appears to be Eccher slamming on the breaks right before his dump truck plowed into the driver’s side door of Webb’s vehicle. Following this 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.

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. Also dispatched to the scene were ambulances from Dupo and Monroe County.

Columbia firefighters used Jaws of Life equipment to assist paramedics in extricating the remaining victims out of the vehicle. A Monroe County coroner pronounced Webb deceased at the scene. She died from blunt trauma sustained upon impact. All of the Webb children were transported to area hospitals. The extent of their injuries ranges from minor to serious. Two are listed in critical condition, two are hospitalized and the remaining two have been released.

Eccher did not appear to be seriously injured, but was also transported to the hospital.

The northbound lanes of Rt. 3 through Columbia remained closed until 4:50 p.m. that day 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 investigation is still underway to determine an exact cause.

Funeral arrangements are pending for Emily Webb at Lawlor Funeral Home. Emily homeschooled her children. Her husband Bryan works full time as an electrical engineer.

The Webb family is also receiving support from members of their church, Heritage of Grace Church located along AA Road on the north end of Columbia. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to accept donations to provide financial assistance to Bryan and the children during this crisis. The link to the page is: Webb Family Go Fund Me.

A prayer vigil for the family was held the night of the crash at Hope Christian Church. Ongoing prayers are also welcome as the children recover from their injuries.

Emily Webb