[Note: this story has been updated since its original posting.]
Two people were killed and one person was seriously injured after a truck tractor without a trailer rear-ended a car and a minivan on Interstate 70 near the U.S. 63 exit Friday morning.
The driver of the red car, Cheryl Card of Lincoln, Neb., 54, died at the scene. Her passenger and husband, Kirtland Card of Lincoln, Neb., 56, was taken to the trauma center at University Hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to Columbia Fire Battalion Chief Steven Sapp.
The driver of the blue minivan, John Ferkel of St. Peters, 40, was crushed beneath the cab of the another truck on the highway and died at the scene.
The driver of the truck, Carl West of Novinger, 61, was uninjured but was taken to a hospital for severe emotional distress, Sapp said.
The minivan and the car were both stopped in one westbound lane because of construction on I-70 when the crash occurred, Sapp said. The truck first hit the red car, which then spun into a ditch and came to rest facing the highway. The truck continued moving forward and hit the blue minivan into truck tractor with a trailer. The driver of the second truck, Robert Montgomery of Lakewood, Ohio, 45, was uninjured.
Firefighters had to cut the door off the red car to remove Kirtland Card. He was taken to the trauma center because of the extent of his injuries and because he needed an oxygen tank to breathe.
Sapp said it was still unclear if the driver of the truck was braking or slowing when the truck hit the red car.
The collision shut down both westbound lanes of I-70 for almost four hours, and law enforcement diverted westbound traffic onto U.S. 54. Police were still taking measurements and reports Friday afternoon at the accident scene. The Columbia Police Department also took aerial photos of the accident using a ladder from one of the Fire Department trucks, Sapp said. Columbia police will use computer programs and lasers on the photos to further investigate the accident.
No charges had been filed Friday afternoon in connection with the crash.