Editor’s Note: This version of the story corrects the fact that all but one of the crash victims were wearing seat belts.
by Andy Lyons
Three people were killed in an automobile accident just north of the Clinton, Mo., city limits Saturday afternoon.
Jennifer Reeder, 19, of Springfield, Mo., and Erin Hook, 20, of St. Joseph, Mo., both UCM students, were killed in the crash. Paul Stankus, 49, of Clinton, Mo., was also killed.
The crash occurred at 2:10 p.m. as Reeder was driving northbound with Hook as her passenger on state Route 13 and crossed the center line, side swiping a vehicle driven by Eugene Hagameier, 65, of Nixa, Mo., according to Missouri State Highway Patrol records.
Reeder’s vehicle then collided with Stankus’ vehicle head-on and went off the left side of the road into an embankment, coming to rest on the driver’s side facing north. All three were pronounced dead at the scene by Henry County Coroner Dain Sisk. Hagameier was uninjured in the accident. According to the Highway Patrol report, Stankus was not wearing a seat belt.
Reeder and Hook were both members of the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority at UCM. University president Chuck Ambrose announced via Twitter that counseling services were en route to UCM’s Panhellenic Hall.
“Public safety went and picked up Paul and Liz from the counseling center and they are at Panhellenic now, not only available to women of the sorority but anyone needing support,” Ambrose said. “Even with the weather we didn’t want to wait to offer these services. With a community our size, everybody feels the loss especially within Panhellenic and the sorority system. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of both of these young women.”