The State Highway Patrol says 14 people were killed in traffic crashes on Missouri roads over the long Fourth of July holiday weekend.
The patrol says there were seven boating crashes over the holiday weekend, which caused four injuries. There were no boating fatalities this weekend. Troopers arrested 23 for boating while intoxicated, and arrested another 33 for drugs on the waterways.
The Fourth of July holiday counting period began at 6 p.m. Friday and ended Tuesday at 11:59 p.m.
In one crash, 32-year-old Tiffani Santana, 10-year-old Pheonix Santana and two-year-old Jack Venneman, all of western Missouri’s Adrian, were killed when a vehicle struck them and their vehicle, which was parked on the shoulder of the roadway on Route MM in southeast Missouri’s Dunklin County.
The Highway Patrol says 55-year-old Benny Johnson of Tennessee has been arrested for felony DWI, causing the death of two or more.
Missouri Highway Patrol Sergeant Clark Parrott tells Missourinet the Patrol’s Major Crash Investigation Unit is handling the investigation, and that reconstruction of the triple fatality crash is underway. The Dunklin and Stoddard County Sheriff Departments, Malden Police and Bernie Police also worked the crash, which happened at about 9:50 p.m. on the Fourth of July.
In 2016, five people were killed and 565 were injured in Missouri over the Fourth of July holiday.
Troopers were stationed at 20-mile intervals on all Missouri interstates on Friday and again on the Fourth of July, targeting aggressive driving violations and assisting motorists.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol participated in Operation C.A.R.E. during the holiday weekend. That stands for Crash Awareness Reduction Effort.
Highway Patrol Captain John Hotz says the aim was to maximize Patrol visibility and to reduce the number of traffic violations they see.
None of the 14 fatalities happened on interstates, which see the largest volume of vehicles.