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Holiday Weekend Keeps the Missouri Highway Patrol Busy

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Seventeen people died in traffic crashes during the 2013 4th of July holiday weekend. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported 358 traffic crashes in which 13 died and 157 were injured. The St.Louis Police Department reported a triple fatality crash and the Columbia Police Department worked one fatality crash.

The holiday, or counting, period began at 6 p.m., Wednesday, July 3 and ended at 11:50 p.m., Sunday, July 7.

Troopers arrested 199 people for driving while intoxicated during this year’s 102-hour holiday period.

During last year’s 30-hour period, troopers worked 99 traffic crashes in which three people died and 45 were injured. Highway Patrol also arrested 59 people for DUI last year. Statewide, in 2012, there were 385 traffic crashes, in which four people died and 194 were injured.

No fatalities occurred Wednesday. Seven fatalities occurred on the 4th of July, while two people died in traffic crashes on Friday. Six people died in traffic crashes on Saturday and two people died on Sunday.

Elizabeth Baylark, 79, of St. Louis died after she suffered a medical condition and lost control of the vehicle she was driving on Missouri Highway 180 east of McKelvey Road in St. Louis County. Baylark’s vehicle traveled off the roadway and struck a pedestrian sitting at a bus stop. Baylark was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and was pronounced dead at the DePaul Hospital. The pedestrian suffered moderate injuries.

Lydell Templeton, 43, of St. Louis died when he lost control of the vehicle, the report says. The vehicle then collided with the median and overturned several times before catching fire in St. Louis County near the Highway 40/Interstate 64 interchange at Kingshighways. The St. Louis Police Department investigated the crash that also killed Michael J. Helm, 20, of St. Louis, and Tyrone Cain II, 40. Two other passengers sustained serious injuries, while four of the five passengers were ejected from the vehicle.

Brandon M. Blankenship, 24 of St. Charles, Mo., died when the vehicle in which he was a passenger failed to negotiate a curve to the left, traveled off the right side of the road, overturned several times, and struck several trees, according to a Missouri State Highway Patrol press release. Troopers say the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash. The driver of the vehicle sustained serious injuries.

Michael S. Mann, 40 of High Ridge, Mo., died Sunday when the motorcycle he was driving began to skid and struck a second vehicle. Mann was pronounced dead at St. Anthony’s Hospital, while the driver of the vehicle that struck Mann’s motorcycle was not injured. The crash occurred in Jefferson County on High Ridge Boulevard east of Antire Road.

There were no boating fatalities, but were 17 boating crashes causing 11 injuries. Troopers also arrested 17 people for boating while intoxicated, after just seven were arrested in 2012, according to the news release.

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