COLUMBIA — Two Missourians are dead after separate car crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday, according to a release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The first incident occurred Thursday on South Glenn Avenue in Springfield. Jason R. Teale, 35, of Springfield died after he lost control of his vehicle, which struck a parked car, left the roadway and crashed into a tree. A passenger in Teale's vehicle was injured. The crash is still under investigation by the Springfield Police Department.
On Sunday, Jerry W. Puckett, 58, died after a three-car crash in Benton County on Missouri 7 north of Route UU. The Kansas City resident was riding as a passenger in the vehicle when the driver lost control. The vehicle crossed the center line, struck two other vehicles and overturned. The driver in the second vehicle sustained minor injuries, while the driver and passenger in the third both received serious injuries. Puckett was pronounced dead at St. Luke's Hospital-Kansas City. He was not wearing a seat belt.
The final number of deaths could change as other departments report additional crashes.
Highway troopers investigated 333 traffic crashes from Wednesday to Sunday and reported 126 injuries. One year ago, there were 488 crashes with 143 injuries. Fourteen fatalities were reported last year.
DUIs reported this year were 135, 21 more than in 2008.