MSHP reports 5 fatalities during New Year's weekend
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol said Monday there were five fatalities along with numerous arrests and injuries from traffic accidents during the New Year's counting period.
MSHP said it investigated 235 traffic crashes which included 59 injuries and five fatalities during the 78 hour counting period. Deputies also made 109 DWI arrests during that time.
The counting period lasted from 6 p.m. Dec. 31 through 11:59 p.m. Jan. 3.
Two fatalities occurred Saturday, Jan 2. on Calvey Creek Road in Jefferson County. The names of the crash victims have not been released.
The other three fatalities occurred Sunday, Jan. 3.
William Marr, 88, died Sunday when his vehicle was hit head on by another vehicle on U.S. 160 in Taney County. Marr was pronounced dead at the scene. The other driver sustained minor injuries.
Samantha Devol, 32, died Sunday in a traffic accident on U.S. 63 in Phelps County. Devol was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene. The other driver involved in the crash was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured.
Don Watson, 43, also died Sunday when he lost control of his vehicle while driving around a curve. The vehicle crashed into two road signs, flipped numerous times and hit a tree. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. Watson was pronounced dead at the scene.
853 people died on Missouri roadways during all of 2015, the highest level of traffic fatalities since 2009, according to a news release from the Missouri Department of Transportation.
There were 766 deaths in 2014 and 757 in 2013.
[Editor's Note: The story was updated with the information on 2015 deaths.]