Three people critically injured in crash involving loose horse trailer

bbashioum@demo-mo.comAugust 8, 2014 

Northbound Interstate 49 was shut down for more than four hours on Aug. 2 after three people were seriously injured in a crash.

The crash occurred at 5:50 a.m. on northbound I-49, north of 211th Street in Peculiar.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a 2004 Ford F-150 pickup truck was stopped in the roadway of the interstate behind a horse trailer that had become detached from the pickup truck.

Larry Plumb, 54, of Peculiar, stopped to help pickup driver Mark Heintzelman, 50, also of Peculiar, with the horse trailer.

As they were working on the trailer, authorities said, a woman from Cleveland, Mo., who was driving a 2011 Ford Escape, did not notice the vehicles in the roadway, and her vehicle struck the pickup

The impact caused the pickup truck to strike Plumb and Heintzelman. Both pedestrians came to rest off the right side of the roadway.

The pickup truck also struck the horse trailer before traveling off onto the right shoulder and striking Plumb’s vehicle, a 1998 Western Star.

The Ford Escape came to a rest in the middle of the interstate facing west. The pickup truck came to rest partially off the right side of the roadway facing west, still in contact with Plumb’s vehicle.

The horse trailer came to rest off the left side of the roadway in contact with the median cable barriers.

Following the incident, the woman driving the Ford Escape was arrested by the highway patrol on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. She is not being named because charges hadn’t been filed at press time.

Traffic was diverted from I-49 through the city of Peculiar while troopers investigated the crash.

EMS crews from the West Peculiar Fire District, Life Flight Eagle, Central Cass Fire Protection District and South Metro Fire Protection District assisted at the scene.

Plumb was transported by air, while Heintzelman and the third driver were transported by ground ambulance, to Research Main Hospital in Kansas City.

The woman had not been wearing a seatbelt.

All three crash victims were in critical condition at the time of transport.

The highway patrol was assisted by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office and Peculiar police. The Missouri Department of Transportation’s Emergency Response vehicle assisted in traffic control.

The highway patrol’s Major Crash Investigation Unit continues to investigate the crash. Criminal DWI charges were also still under investigation.

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