The Highway Patrol counts seven dead in holiday weekend traffic crashes, down one from last year. The Patrol says its troopers worked 294 crashes (14 fewer than last year’s Labor Day holiday), made 190 DWI arrests (up41 from last year, and counted 148 injuries (18 more than last year. 

Dense smoke from a burning farm field near Dexter yesterday triggered the worst crash of the weekend– 16 cars and two tractor-trailer trucks in a  crash that injured more than 30 people and left wrecked vehicles littering a quarter-mile long section of Highway 60. Three people were injured severely enough to require helicopter flights to hospitals in Cape Girardeau and in Memphis.  There were no fatalities in the pileup.  The Patrol says only one of the people injured had not been wearing a seatbelt–the driver of one of the trucks. . 

 Highway Patrol Capt. Tim Hull talks to Bob Priddy (5:02 mp3)