One Man Killed When Truck Drives Into Creek
MO Highway State Patrol Sgt. Paul Reinsch confirmed Berendzen,44 was dead when he was pulled from the vehicle.
The accident happened around 9:30 Thursday morning. An eye-witness told KOMU-8 news that he saw the accident in his rearview mirror. He said the truck was driving north on HWY 63 when it switched into the passing lane, then straight into the ditch. Sgt. Reinsch said the truck drove about 500 feet on the median before entering the creek. Immediately after the truck crashed, the witness dialed 911.
Traffic on north-bound 63 was down to one-lane just past Ashland near the Cedar Creek bridge.
It took the Missouri State Water Patrol and others about five hours to remove the body and the vehicle shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday. The truck was from Howerton Electric in Jefferson City.
Reinsch said getting the truck out of the water was not easy.
"Well, we have no idea at this point in time what caused the driver to run off the road," Sgt. Reinsch said. "And what upon when it entered the creek, the river is obviously very high from back water from the Missouri River. It's very dirty and made it very difficult for the divers to see once they got under the water. So, that slowed the process down a little bit to remove the body and remove the vehicle."
He added that the truck was about 20 to 22 feet deep in the water. Work slowed down because earlier this morning the tow-truck wire snapped.
MoDOT Emergency Response, Callaway County EMS, and Holt Summit Fire Department were all also on the scene.