Two dead after semi crash closes Highway 54
JEFFERSON CITY - Eastbound Highway 54 has reopened all lanes between Route 63 and Summit Drive, after a fatal crash when a passenger vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer on Highway 54 south of Holts Summit Tuesday afternoon.
The driver, Caleb McClain, 16, of Jefferson City, and passenger Karlie Jones, 15, of Holts Summit, were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the tractor trailer was transported to Capital Region Medical Center with moderate injuries, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott White said, "A vehicle was traveling west bound on U. S. 54, and for an unknown reason the driver lost control of that car. They did cross the median and strike an east bound semi truck nearly head on."
When authorities arrived on the scene, they found natural gas emanating from the tractor trailer and were able to activate the emergency shut off.
Debris was scattered throughout the highway and onto the grass on the side of the road.
Traffic was temporarily diverted after lanes were closed for investigation.
Troopers marked the road with different colors of spray paint to signify various details of the accident.
[Editor's note: This story has been updated with the latest information available. The headline to this story has also been changed.]