This weekend was horrendous for locals driving on the highways of rural Atchison and Holt counties.

Friday night’s weather made for horrible driving conditions when a thunderstorm rolled through the area causing a torrential downpour, severe lightning, and strong winds. It was during this storm that a 2011 GMC Thomas bus, driven by Starla R. Livengood, 50, of Tarkio, was driving northbound on Hwy. 59. At approximately 10:35 p.m., 1 mile north of Craig, Missouri, the bus struck a pedestrian, Jamie M. Leigh, 40, of Red Oak, Iowa, who was walking northbound on Hwy. 59. Leigh was thrown off the east side of the roadway and came to rest in the ditch. The bus continued northbound on Hwy. 59. Leigh received serious injuries and was transported by Atchison-Holt ambulance to Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph, Missouri. The accident was investigated by Missouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. S.M. Hux, who was assisted by Trooper A.J. Foss, Mound City Police Department, Holt County Sheriff’s Department, and Craig First Responders.

Tarkio R-I Superintendent Karma Coleman issued this statement, “Late Friday night, October 5, a Tarkio R-I School District bus carrying staff and students home from a football game was involved in an accident on Highway 59 just North of Craig, Missouri. We are grateful that initial reports indicate that none of our staff or students suffered injuries; however, the other party involved in the accident was transported to the hospital. The accident is currently under investigation by the Missouri Highway Patrol. The District’s priority is always the safety of our students and staff and we will continue to check in with staff and students involved in the accident to provide assistance to them in any way we can. Thank you to our staff and our first responders for the swift and appropriate action to ensure the safety and well-being of all involved.”

Saturday didn’t prove any better for local drivers. At 8:30 p.m., a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado was headed northbound on Hwy. 59 3 miles north of Tarkio. The vehicle, driven by Daniel P. Beckman, 41, of Westboro, Missouri, traveled off the east side of the roadway, striking a utility pole, damaging planted field corn, and then continued northbound up an embankment. The Silverado became airborne and overturned while airborne. It returned to the ground off the east side of the highway at the bottom of an embankment in a creek bed with the vehicle on its wheels facing south. Beckman and his passenger, Trev M. Martin, 22, also of Westboro, were not wearing their seat belts and both suffered serious injuries. Both were transported to Community Hospital-Fairfax in Fairfax, Missouri, and then on to the Medical Center in Omaha, Ne., by Atchison-Holt ambulances. The 2008 Chevy Silverado was totaled and left at the scene to be towed at a later date. The accident was investigated by Trooper A.J. Foss, who was assisted by Cpl. S.M. Hux, Conservation Agent C. Gray, Atchison County Sheriff’s Department, Tarkio Police Department, and Atchison County First Responders.

Thirty minutes later, another wreck occurred in Atchison County, this one taking place 1 1/2 miles south of Tarkio on Hwy. 136. A 1998 Ford Contour, driven by Ryan C. Nelson, 24, of Rock Port, Missouri, was headed northbound on Hwy. 59 when Nelson attempted to turn the vehicle west onto Hwy. 136. He failed to stop the vehicle at the stop sign causing the Ford to travel off the north side of Hwy. 136, striking an embankment. The vehicle returned to the roadway and came to rest on its wheels facing west on Hwy. 136. Nelson, who was wearing his seat belt, received minor injuries in the accident and was transported to Grape Community Hospital in Hamburg, Iowa, by an Atchison-Holt ambulance. The 1998 Ford Contour received minor damage and was towed from the scene by Double M Towing of Rock Port. The accident was investigated by Cpl. S.M. Hux, who was assisted by the Rock Port Police Department.