[Note: this story has been modified since its original posting to correct errors.]
A head-on collision just east of Columbia Thursday claimed the life of a Columbia teenager and left another man in serious condition.
Melissa Howland, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:40 p.m. by Boone County Death Investigator Dori Burke. Stephen Cornelison, 27, also of Columbia, was taken to University Hospital.
The accident occurred on Route WW. Howland’s 1990 Ford pickup truck crossed the center line and struck Cornelison’s 1998 Chevy pickup truck, said State Trooper Bruce McLaughlin, who was on the scene.
“Both vehicles were going … around the speed limit, about 45 miles an hour,” he said. “That’s the equivalent of one car going 90 miles an hour and hitting a brick wall.”
Boone County Assistant Fire Chief Scott Olsen said the accident backed up traffic for about an hour and a half along Route WW.
“In my 18 years with the fire department, I have seen a lot of bad accidents there,” Olsen said.