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Family speaks out after deadly I-70 crash

The husband of the woman killed in an Interstate 70 crash this past summer is speaking out. Alvin Haile’s wife, Margaret, died when a semi slammed into the back of her vehicle while she was in traffic near Route ZZ.

Alvin said he and Margaret met at a birthday party of her brothers. They were married for 62 years and one month. The couple moved to Auxvasse when Alvin retired. Alvin said he’s had great difficulty dealing his wife’s death.

“She was a good person. She was giving person. If anybody came up with a hard luck story — she’d help them,” said Alvin.

On July 1, Alvin was in Boone County Hospital recovering from a hip operation. Margaret was driving from their home in Callawy County to visit Alvin. She was on Interstate 70 near Route ZZ stuck in a long line of traffic because of a car crash up the road.

“My wife was late getting there, so I had the hospital call my house and leave a message,” said Alvin.

While Margaret was sitting in her pickup truck waiting for traffic to move, Anthony West from Jonesboro, Georgia was driving west in his semi. MoDOT was on the scene with signs warning drivers of congestion due to the crash ahead. A crash report obtained by ABC 17 News said West blew through those warning signs, slamming into Margaret, only to be stopped by another tractor-trailer.

“My son was on his way up to visit and he started calling around and he found that it was his mother was killed, and he called me then in Boone Hospital and that’s how I found out,” said Alvin.

Margaret Haile loved to teach children with special needs. Alvin said she had more energy than someone half her age. She was 79 years old.

“I couldn’t believe it. At first I was a little bit calm. I was with other people and as soon as I walked out the door, I just started sobbing,” said Alvin.

Anthony West has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for the crash. An investigation showed West driving 68 miles an hour at the time. Authorities said West was negligent.

“I would like for him not ever to have a motor vehicle license again. The man had responsibility and he didn’t take it,” said Alvin.

In the crash report, West stated he tried to stop that day. He said he pressed his brakes all the way to the floor and the semi didn’t stop. A Highway Patrol investigation found nothing wrong with West’s brakes.

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