Highway Patrol Releases Name of Driver Killed in Route B Crash
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol released the name Thursday of the man who died in a car accident in north Columbia earlier in the day.
The patrol said Rene Lopez-Espinoza, 34, died when his car drifted across the center line and struck another vehicle along Oakland Church Road. Lopez-Espinoza is from Columbia. Troopers said his 2003 Ford Mustang hit a 2009 Toyota Corolla.
The Highway Patrol said the other driver, Richard Nelson, of Hallsville, went to University Hospital after the accident with serious injuries. University Hospital spokesperson Jeff Hoelscher said Thursday afternoon Nelson was in fair condition.
Firefighters responded to the scene at Route B and Oakland Church Road around 6:45 a.m.
"One of the victims had to be physically cut from the vehicle by moving the parts of the vehicle away from his so he could be transported by ambulance, so we do have one fatality on scene, we have one driver that was transported as a trauma alert to the University Hospital," Battalion Chief John Metz said.
This is the third fatality for Troop F and the 18th of the year. Troop F covers 13 mid-Missouri counties.