Missouri Highway Patrol reports 6 fatals, 1 drowning and no boating fatalities over weekend


Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) reports six traffic fatalities, no boating fatalities and one drowning over the July Fourth holiday.

The MSHP counting period runs from 6 in the evening Friday, July 1, through mid-night, Monday, July 4.

Troopers worked 285 traffic crashes, which included 107 injuries and all six fatalities. Troopers also made 141 DWI arrests and 82 drug arrests over the holiday weekend.

Troopers worked 11 boating crashes, which included five injuries and zero fatalities. Troopers made 13 BWI arrests and 18 drug arrests. One person drowned over the holiday weekend.

On July 4, Uriel P. Ramirez, 25, of Collinsville, IL, drowned after he jumped off a bluff into the Meramec River in Meramec State Park downstream of the state park’s boat ramp. Missouri Baptist Sullivan Emergency Medical Services personnel pronounced Ramirez dead at the scene.

Three traffic fatalities occurred in the Troop D, Springfield, MO, area; two traffic fatalities occurred in the Troop C, Weldon Spring, MO, area; and one traffic fatality occurred in the Troop E, Poplar Bluff area.

Three traffic fatalities occurred on Saturday, July 2. Jack K. Meese, 48, of New Madrid, MO, died when the vehicle he was driving ran off the roadway, struck a tree, overturned, and caught fire. Meese was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Bollinger County on Missouri Highway P west of Arab, MO. Bollinger County Deputy Coroner Lee Gilliam pronounced Meese dead at the scene.

Wayne E. Sprenkle, 57, of Jasper, MO, died when the motorcycle he was operating swerved to avoid an item in the roadway. He lost control of the motorcycle and it overturned. Sprenkle was ejected. Both the motorcycle and Sprenkle skidded across the center of the roadway and came to rest in the passing lane. Sprenkle was not wearing a helmet. The crash occurred in Barton County on Interstate 49 south of Sheldon, MO. Dr. Clinton Loy from Cox Hospital pronounced Sprenkle dead at the scene.

Brian A. Bradley, 51, of Diamond, MO, died when the UTV he was operating traveled off the right side of the roadway, he overcorrected, and the vehicle overturned. Bradley was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Newton County on Elder Road west of Diamond, MO. Newton County Deputy Coroner Brian Artherton pronounced Bradley dead at the scene.

One traffic fatality occurred on Sunday, July 3. Kailey R. Spencer, 33, of Troy, MO, died when she was struck by a vehicle. The crash occurred in Lincoln County on Missouri Highway 47 east of Brushy Ridge Lane. Lincoln County Ambulance District personnel pronounced Spencer dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle that struck Spencer was not injured. It is unknown whether or not he was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Two traffic fatalities occurred on Monday, July 4. Bruce D. Dodge, 60, of Wyandotte, OK, died when the motorcycle he was operating struck the rear of a vehicle. Dodge was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The crash occurred in Newton County on Missouri Highway 43 at Missouri Route U in Seneca, MO. Newton County Coroner Jerry Deems pronounced Dodge dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle Dodge’s motorcycle struck was not injured in the crash. He was wearing a seat belt.

Scott J. Drennen, 29, died when a vehicle traveled off the right side of the roadway onto the shoulder and struck Drennen, who was walking. The crash occurred in St. Louis County on the ramp from southbound Interstate 55 to Interstate 270. Mehlville, MO, Fire Protection District Ambulance personnel pronounced Drennen dead at the scene of the crash. The driver of the vehicle was not injured.

Last year, the July Fourth holiday period saw seven people killed and 532 injured statewide in Missouri in 1,139 traffic crashes. Troopers arrested 80 people for driving while intoxicated last year. Over the 2021 July Fourth holiday, there were 12 boating crashes, which included eight injuries and one fatality. One person drowned during last year’s holiday. Troopers made nine boating while intoxicated arrests during the 2021 July Fourth holiday.

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