A 2016 Freightliner crashed at 8:22 a.m. on I-29 in Atchison County August 29, 2020. Driven by Kenneth A. Thomas, 31, of Independence, Missouri, the semi was heading northbound on I-29 when the front driver’s steer tire blew out at the 109 mile-marker, one mile south of Rock Port. The vehicle traveled off the west side of the northbound lanes, crossed the median and onto the southbound lanes and overturned off the west side of the southbound side. It came to rest on its wheels facing south off the west side of the roadway.
Thomas, who was wearing a seat belt, suffered minor injuries, but refused medical treatment at the scene. The 2016 Freightliner was totaled and towed by Benefiel’s of Hamburg, Iowa. The accident was investigated by Missouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. S.M. Hux, who was assisted by Trooper K.A. McCallister, CVO J.E. Lawrence, and Rock Port Fire Department.
Another wreck involving a semi occurred the next day, August 30, at 7:56 a.m. at the 112.4 mile-marker on I-29, two miles north of Rock Port. A 2012 Hyundai Elantra, driven by Vanessa N. Fierras, 18, of Lincoln, Nebraska, and a 2016 Peterbilt, driven by Rickey L. Haney, 54, of Melbourne, Arkansas, were both traveling northbound on the interstate. The front end of the Elantra struck the towed unit of the Peterbilt, causing the Elantra to overturn onto the grass median of I-29 and all occupants of the Elantra to be ejected. The Elantra came to rest on its wheels facing south in the median. The Peterbilt came to a controlled stop on the east shoulder of northbound I-29.
None of the Elantra occupants were wearing seat belts and all suffered serious injuries when they were ejected. The driver, Fierras, was transported by Hamburg Rescue to Grape Community Hospital in Hamburg, then was life flighted to Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph, Missouri. A passenger, Madisen B. Hansen, 18, of Lincoln was transported by Atchison-Holt Ambulance to Grape Community Hospital in Hamburg and then by Life Net to the Lincoln hospital. Passenger Ahmad Gregory, 19, was transported by Atchison-Holt Ambulance to Grape Community Hospital in Hamburg and then by ambulance to the Lincoln hospital. Passenger Traishon J. Schmieding, 19, of Lincoln was transported by Atchison-Holt Ambulance to Grape Community Hospital in Hamburg. The driver of the Peterbilt, Haney, was transported by private vehicle to Community Hospital-Fairfax in Fairfax, Missouri.
The 2012 Hyundai Elantra was totaled and towed from the scene by Double M Towing of Rock Port. The 2016 Peterbilt sustained extensive damage and was also towed by Double M. The accident was investigated by Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper T.L. Shupe, who was assisted by MSgt. M.P. Quilty, the Atchison County Sheriff’s Office, and Rock Port Police Department.