COLUMBIA — Two men were killed around 8 p.m. Thursday after being hit by a car that veered onto the shoulder of eastbound Interstate 70.
Edward Taggart, 72, and Gilbert L. Love, 73, were struck by a car driven by Earl William Hutcherson, according to a news release from the Columbia Police Department. According to the release, Hutcherson veered onto the shoulder of eastbound I-70 near mile marker 129.6, in a 1998 Toyota 4-Runner, and struck Taggart and Love and their vehicles.
Columbia Police spokeswoman Latisha Stroer said Taggart and Love rode together in a 2000 Dodge Caravan to an auction, where they purchased a 2002 Ford E-350 van. According to the release, Taggart and Love parked both vehicles on the shoulder and were standing outside the driver's side of one of the vehicles, attempting to fill the gas tank, when they were hit.
Love was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel. Taggart was taken by ambulance to University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the release.
The police department said Hutcherson made statements about using a cellphone prior to the crash, and police said they believe alcohol was a factor. It was unknown whether Hutcherson was wearing his seatbelt.
Hutcherson was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and is currently held in the Boone County Jail.