Three fatal vehicle crashes reported in Missouri over holiday weekend

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 | 4:56 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Motor vehicle accidents in Missouri resulted in three deaths over the holiday weekend.

All three fatal collisions were outside the Columbia area.

The first fatality was a pedestrian struck by a vehicle in the Springfield area Friday. The driver was not injured.

The other two fatalities were the result of crashes that occurred on Christmas Day near Jefferson City and Rolla. Both drivers were not wearing seatbelts, said Lt. John Hotz of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Between the hours of 6 p.m. Friday and 11:59 p.m. Monday, the Highway Patrol investigated 213 automobile accidents that caused 67 injuries, in addition to the three fatalities. Troopers arrested 56 people for driving while intoxicated.

The number of holiday traffic incidents reported by the Highway Patrol has  decreased since last year, Hotz said. During the four-day period last year, the patrol investigated 487 traffic crashes that included 122 injuries.

Fewer deaths — two — occurred last year, however, and 51 people were arrested for driving while intoxicated.

Hotz emphasized the importance of wearing a seatbelt and driving with caution, especially as road conditions become dangerous in the winter months.

“We’re trying to urge people to drive a speed that’s appropriate for the conditions,” he said.

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