COLUMBIA — A Columbia man was in critical condition Friday afternoon after being involved in a series of accidents Thursday morning on U.S. 63.
Cory Speaks, 31, struck a Missouri Department of Transportation snowplow while driving a 1992 Chevrolet around 4:30 a.m. Thursday south of Lake Road, according to a Missouri State Highway Patrol report. Snowplows were on the streets to clear the inch of snow that fell early Thursday morning.
Speaks was traveling northbound in the southbound lane. Sgt. Matt Broneic of the highway patrol, who responded to the accident, said it could not be determined whether Speaks attempted to brake before hitting the plow.
The driver of the plow, 52-year-old Marlin Gessling, refused treatment for minor injuries at the scene.
Speaks, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, left his vehicle after striking the plow and walked less than a quarter mile north in the southbound lane, Broneic said.
At that point, Speaks was grazed by a 2011 Ford driven by 51-year-old Charles Sagner of Moberly, Broneic said. Sagner was not injured and his vehicle suffered minor damage.
Speaks returned to his feet and traveled another five minutes north in the southbound lane of U.S. 63, when he was struck head-on by a tractor trailer driven by an Illinois driver, which caused minor damage to the front grill of the truck, Broneic said.
The incidents occurred within 10 minutes of each other, according to the crash reports. Speaks was transported to University Hospital with serious injuries.
Broenic said an investigation of the incident is ongoing, and could not confirm whether alcohol played a part in the incidents or why Speaks left the vehicle after the first collision.