Jamestown man dies in California ATV crash

4 years 2 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, August 21 2014 Aug 21, 2014 Thursday, August 21, 2014 8:42:00 AM CDT August 21, 2014 in News
By: Matt Kalish, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
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CALIFORNIA - A man died Thursday morning after troopers said a car driving northbound was going through a green light and colling with the all-terrain vehicle the man was driving westbound. Firefighters said it happened near the intersection of Buchanan Street and Oak Street in the city limits of California. The intersection, also known as Business Highway 50 and Highway 87, was closed to traffic as of 10 a.m. Thursday.

Raymond Varner, 72, of Jamestown was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead by Moniteau County Coroner Lloyd Fuchs, according to California firefighter Andrew Geiser and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol's crash report released Thursday afternoon said Varner was killed after he was ejected from his ATV after he struck a car while making a right turn. Troopers initially told KOMU 8 News the car hit the ATV. The accident is still under investigation.

A worker at a Subway nearby the accident said she heard the whole thing. 

"In this area we have the railroad train that always goes by, so you think it's the cabooses or the trains hitting each other, didn't think nothing of it. Until I saw the sirens, the fire department and ambulance service come" Cynthia Barfield said. 

According to city ordinance, it is illegal to operate an ATV on city streets unless an operator has a permit or the ATV is being used for agricultural purposes or government purposes.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating along with the California police and fire departments.

Authorities could not say whether speed, distracted driving or alcohol were factors. Troopers said the victim may have had health problems.

(Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include the name, the exact age of the driver and to clarify information about the crash.)

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