VILLA RIDGE, MO – A semi truck was involved in a fatal accident with two school buses and a pickup truck on eastbound I-44 in Villa Ridge, MO. The accident occurred between 10:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 5, 2010.
Villa Ridge is in Franklin County, Missouri in the eastern part of the state about 6 miles southwest of Gray Summit, about 42 miles southwest of St. Louis, about 224 miles southeast of Kansas City, about 101 miles southeast of Columbia, about 217 miles southeast of Independence, about 85 miles southeast of Jefferson City, about 137 miles northwest of Cape Girardeau and about 174 miles northeast of Springfield.
The chain-reaction accident happened at mile marker 250 of Interstate 44 when a semi tractor cab without a trailer slowed down and came to a stop in the right lane, apparently because traffic was approaching a construction zone.
As it turns out, there was no actual construction in the section of I-44 where the accident occurred but there were closed lanes up farther along the Interstate. Traffic was backing up, though, as vehicles were moving over to the right lane.
A GMC pickup truck rear-ended the semi truck cab and then a school bus crashed into the back of the pickup truck. A second school bus that was following the first one then struck the first bus. The school buses were carrying students from St. James High School in St. James, Missouri. The 8th-12th grade students were on their way to Six Flags Amusement Park in Eureka, MO.
A female student in the first bus and man who was driving the GMC pick up truck were both killed in the crash. Reports are that at least 50 people were injured, some of them seriously.
According to an article at the KMOV Channel 4 website in St. Louis, 35 children without serious injuries were taken to one nearby hospital while six were taken to another hospital where their condition was reported to range between “red to green, red being critical condition”.
Additional victims were taken to other hospitals in the area.
In the resulting pileup, the first bus was up-ended completely over the top of the pickup truck and nearly onto the roof of the semi truck cab, completely demolishing the GMC pickup.
Below is a Google street view of the section of I-44 near mile marker 250 where the fatal accident occurred.
The eastbound lanes of I-44 were closed between Route 50 West and Route 100 West. The Interstate was expected to re-open by mid to late afternoon, Thursday.
For more information about Missouri trucking laws, truck injury causes and victims rights, contact nationwide truck accident lawyers Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP for expert advice. For a free initial consultation, talk to a St. Louis, MO truck accident lawyer at 800.773.6770.