UPDATE: East Columbia collision kills one

Friday, January 15, 2010 | 5:57 p.m. CST; updated 6:13 p.m. CST, Friday, January 15, 2010
A late model Ford Focus rests among trees along Highway WW near the Olivet Road intersection after the vehicle was involved in a two-car collision Friday morning. The two occupants were taken to University Hospital to receive treatment for injuries that were described as moderate.

COLUMBIA — A Columbia woman who was in a two-car accident in east Columbia Friday morning has died.

Sallie Reidinger, 91, died Friday afternoon at University Hospital.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a 1990 Dodge Omni driven by Aprilstarr Daly, 23, of Columbia, was traveling north on Olivet Road when it failed to stop at a stop sign.

The car struck a 2009 Ford Focus driven by Russel Reidinger, 64, of Columbia, traveling east on Route WW. Sallie Reidinger was a passenger in the Focus. Daly was thrown from her car.

All four people in the cars were taken to area hospitals by ambulance.

Russel Reidinger and a 7-month-old boy in Daly's car each suffered minor injuries. Daly suffered serious injuries and was in fair condition at University Hospital on Friday evening.

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ralph rowlett January 16, 2010 | 11:43 p.m.

The two recent fatal accidents on Route WW was nearly preceded by a three car crash near the junction with Rangeline Road on Thursday 14 January. That day I was driving west on WW when I was overtaken from behind by another westbound car which was going much beyond the speed limit. This speeding car attempted to pass me when there was another eastward going car in the opposite lane. Fortunately I happened to be paying close attention to my driving and saw the situation developing in my rear view mirror and I slowed down and pulled as far to the right as I could, and the non-speeding driver in the eastbound car was also alert and non-distracted and did the same thing--brake immediately and pull toward the side of the road. These two manouvers allowed just enough space for the speeding car to zip through without hitting anyone.
Remarkably, a state police car was pulling onto WW from Rangeline and saw the entire episode. At the first chance, the state police officer arrested the speeding driver. This near three car accident, which could well have lead to fatalities, highlights two things 1)when driving one must be paying attention at all times, and not fiddling with the radio or talking on a cell phone or texting or some such thing, and 2) how dangerous Route WW has become recently. I have been commuting to Columbia for 42 years and I have the impression that WW driving has become more dangerous since the adoption of cell phones and the TV broadcasts of NASCAR racing.

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