A car and a pick-up truck collided Feb. 6 on a two-way highway in southwest Missouri, leaving both drivers dead.
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, 22-year-old Brandon S. Stuckey of Belleville was traveling eastbound on Highway HH near Carthage at about 5:30 p.m. when the accident occurred.
As he approached a slight hill on a straight section of the highway, Stuckey's 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier drifted across the yellow dividing line into oncoming traffic. He collided head-on with a 2000 GMC Sierra Pickup truck driven by 48-year-old Julie G. Cartwright of Joplin. Both drivers died at the scene.
Witnesses to the accident said that the impact crushed the entire front half of Stuckey's car. He was wearing a seat belt when the accident occurred; Cartwright was not.
A passenger in the back of the pickup truck was identified as an infant boy named Hayven M. Cartwright. Police believe he was the driver's grandson. He was in a child safety seat and survived the crash. He has since been turned over to other relatives.
Police are not sure what caused Stuckey, a student at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, to lose control of the vehicle. They say he was traveling on a straight part of the road and that the hill was slight enough it should not have caused any visibility problems.
Routine toxicology reports were pending as police attempted to determine if a medical emergency may have played a part in the fatal Missouri crash.
We express our deepest sympathies to the families of Mr. Stuckey and Ms. Cartwright in their time of grief.