A couple apparently returning home to Oklahoma were injured Sunday afternoon when they were involved in a two-vehicle accident on westbound Interstate 44 at the St. Clair 240-mile marker near that exit.
St. Clair Police Chief Bill Hammack told The Missourian that Joey Howeth, 74, and his 66-year-old wife, Peggy Sue, were transported to area hospitals following the 3:15 p.m. crash on the highway that destroyed the 1997 Jayco camper they were towing and left parts of it strewn across the eastbound lanes of the highway and in the median.
The extent of their injuries is unknown, but both of them had to be extricated from the pickup truck in which they were traveling. Both were wearing safety belts.
The truck ended up on its top on top of the median cables between the westbound and eastbound lanes of the interstate. The eastbound lanes were closed until the scene could be cleared. Traffic in the westbound lanes was reduced to one lane.
Hammack said Joey Howeth was driving a 1997 Chevrolet 1500 westbound in the right lane of I-44. A 2005 Ford F150 pickup driven by Brian Allen, 20, Michigan, was in the westbound passing lane.
The police report stated that when Allen attempted to switch lanes, the front of his truck clipped the left rear bumper of the 1997 tow-behind camper, causing it to jackknife with the pickup. Howeth lost control of his vehicle, causing it to travel off the left side of the road and into the median, where it overturned.
The walls of the camper either partially or fully collapsed during the wreck. The trailer stopped near the eastbound lanes of I-44 facing west.
Allen was treated at the scene, but he did not require transport. He also was wearing a safety belt.
The Chevrolet pickup sustained heavy damage. Damage to the Ford was moderate.
St. Clair Fire Protection District personnel assisted St. Clair police at the scene.