A three-vehicle accident at the intersection of U.S. 60, North Division Street and Skyline Road early last week left three people — all of them from Seymour — injured, with two sustaining what the Missouri State Highway Patrol described as serious injuries.
“It’s one of the worst accidents I’ve seen at that intersection,” Seymour Police Chief Steven Pogue said of the 2:25 p.m. wreck last Tuesday, Jan. 26.
“This very easily could’ve been an accident with multiple fatalities. Anyone who saw the (accident) scene would’ve assumed lives were lost in this.”
The immediate result was the detouring of eastbound traffic on four-lane U.S. 60 for nearly two hours as first responders, law enforcement and emergency personnel were at the accident scene, treating those who were injured while also clearing wrecked vehicles and debris from the road.
Eastbound traffic initially was detoured through Clinton Avenue (Business 60) in Seymour for nearly two hours.
Another detour came later that evening when crews from Yates Boys Towing of Seymour unloaded cargo from a tractor trailer involved in the accident and ultimately towed the large truck and trailer from the scene.
In the city of Seymour, Pogue had his officers help control the heavy flow of traffic along the city’s main business thoroughfare caused by the U.S. 60 detour. Patrolman Ray Rodriguez was stationed at the four-way stop on Business 60 and Main Street to direct traffic and speed up the flow of eastbound traffic as it reconnected to U.S. 60 at the intersection of highways C and K.
“We had eastbound traffic nearly backed up all the way to McDonald’s at the west end (of Business 60), which is almost a mile long,” Pogue said. “We knew that we had to do something to get the vehicles going through town faster, especially the tractor trailers, because there were a lot of them coming through.”
According to a radio report by Trooper Austin James of the patrol, the accident occurred when a southbound 2012 Jeep Liberty sport-utility vehicle, driven by 69-year-old Vicki S. Davis of rural Seymour, “pulled into the intersection and was struck” by an eastbound 2018 Freightliner Cascadia 125 tractor trailer driven by Victor G. Gray, 58, of Pleasant Hope.
Once struck, Davis’ Jeep “then spun into the passing lane” of eastbound U.S. 60, James’ report said, “and was struck by” an eastbound 2000 Peterbilt 379 tractor trailer driven by Kevin D. Odom, 54, of Summersville.
The trooper’s report continued, “(Davis’ Jeep) overturned into the median, while (Gray’s Freightliner) overturned onto its side in the roadway.”
All three vehicles had automobile insurance, James said in his report.
He added that Davis and two passengers in her Jeep were the only injuries.
Davis and a passenger in her Jeep, 24-year-old Taylor L. Davis, who is her granddaughter, sustained what the patrol described as serious injuries and were taken by ambulance to Cox Medical Center South in Springfield. A third passenger, a 4-year-old boy who is Taylor Davis’ son, had minor injuries and also was taken by ambulance to Cox South, James said in his report.
Gray and Odom weren’t injured.
The Freightliner and Jeep were towed from the accident scene by Yates Boys Towing.
“That’s a dangerous intersection, and I feel it’s even more dangerous than it was before since the highway was resurfaced last year,” Pogue concluded. “We’ve had problems at that crossing since the highway was redone, as that crossing is very confusing between the eastbound and the westbound lanes. My officers and I have noticed some serious safety issues (at the crossing) since last year.”
Family members told the Citizen that Vickie Davis and Taylor Davis are expected to make full recoveries from the injuries they sustained in last week’s accident.