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Holiday Accidents

***UPDATE SUNDAY 11:32 P.M.***Millions of people are back home safely after this holiday weekend, but more traffic means more accidents.Sunday night traffic was backed up on I-70 through Boonville after a tractor trailer cab caught on fire around 7 p.m. Sunday.The westbound lanes were stalled for miles and were not cleared until 9:15 p.m. ABC 17 News is still working to get information on what caused the truck to go up in flames.It happened just before Missouri Highway Patrol Troopers finished their holiday counting period at midnight.Troopers had extra patrols out since Wednesday, which proved necessary as accidents and traffic plagued the area.While holiday travelers were thankful for Sunday’s clear weather, the millions of people blocking the roads posed problems.”They were really bad, there was constant stop and go traffic all the way from St. Louis to Columbia,” said Sidney Baudendistil, who was driving back to Mid-Missouri Sunday afternoon. Baudendistil told ABC 17 News there were more crashes along the road than years past. In fact, there were three accidents in a matter of hours that had roads backed up in Mid-Missouri Sunday afternoon.The first happened just after 2 p.m. on Highway 63. Four people were hurt and one was air lifted to University Hospital with serious injuries.Forty-five minutes later, a car on I-70 drove into an embankment at mile marker 118 and minutes after that another car on I-70 veered off the road. The car then hit a wall and ejected one person in Cooper County.As travels come to an end, law enforcement urge people to take their time and put safety first.”As long as your careful is shouldn’t be too bad but you just have to be careful of the drivers around you and the big roads are always pretty scary,” said Baudendistil.According to AAA, more than 43 million Americans traveled fifty miles or more since Wednesday. Experts say travel this season is up slightly from last year, plus more people chose to drive instead of flying. As of Sunday afternoon, ABC 17 News counted more than 100 crashes in Missouri since Wednesday morning. Of those accidents, 18 have been serious and three people have been killed.***ORIGINAL STORY***Thousands of people are out on the road this busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and several serious injuries have been reported as of Friday. Two teenagers died in car accidents near Joplin in Barry County. And in Mid-Missouri, at least five serious car accidents have been reported. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported two separate car accidents where drivers fell asleep behind the wheel. One occurred Friday morning on I-70 Eastbound near Cedar Creek Bridge where a 22-year-old veered her car into the bridge rail where it then overturned.Another happened around Friday afternoon in Fulton. A 52-year-old woman went off the side of the road and struck a utility pole on Route HH just west of County Road 203.Both drivers were treated and released from the hospital the same day. ABC 17 News was at the scene of two accidents in Columbia Friday afternoon. One accident was a small fender bender in the parking lot of Columbia Mall where a truck and a car collided and another one was on the I-70 connector to southbound Highway 63, where three vehicles collided, according to the Columbia Fire Department.Two people were transported to the hospital. One man, who was riding on a moped, suffered a broken leg and a woman in a maroon-colored sedan reported neck injuries. A white van was believed to have left the scene of the accident.

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