Columbia surgeon dies in car accident Saturday

Sunday, July 4, 2010 | 4:25 p.m. CDT; updated 4:58 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 7, 2010

COLUMBIA — A fatal one-car accident on Route O west of Columbia left orthopedic surgeon Paul Shurnas dead and his passenger with minor injuries last night.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol report, Shurnas, 44, was driving his 2010 BMW quickly enough on a hillcrest that the car became airborne. The car spun out of control when it landed; it then traveled off the left side of the road into a ditch, started to overturn, then traveled on the right side of the roadway until it stopped in an opposite ditch.

The accident occurred at 8:05 p.m. just north of Hickory Grove School Road in west Boone County, according to the report. Shurnas was pronounced dead on the scene at 8:13 p.m. Passenger Michael Schweid, 41, suffered minor injuries and was taken to University Hospital.

According to the Columbia Orthopaedic Group's website, Shurnas attended the United States Air Force Academy for two years before graduating from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree. Shurnas earned his medical degree from the Creighton University School of Medicine and then completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Colorado.

Shurnas joined the Columbia Orthopaedic Group in 2003. He is survived by his wife and three children.

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charlie43 smith July 6, 2010 | 10:11 p.m.
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