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First responders, children getting counseling after deadly crash

A single-vehicle crash that killed a woman and four children Wednesday night in Miller County took a toll on first responders.

The driver, Radiance Wright, 30, of Columbia somehow lost control of her vehicle with her four children, Patience Horton, 3, Arleone Horton, 4, Brya Brown, 7 months, and Rondrea Anderson, 8, inside.

Rexx Morrison from the Miller County Ambulance District said the scene stretched over 100 yards.

Morrison said a single-vehicle crash with this many deaths is unusual.

“I’ve been doing this for about almost 28 years give or take and this is only the second or third multi-fatality accident I’ve had of that number,” he said.

He said because of the condition of the crash he and other administrators have been meeting with employees and offering counseling.

Ron Schlicht from the Miller County Ambulance District said they have several options available for employees.

“We’re all available for any of our staff members to talk to either openly or privately if they prefer,” he said. “And we have more professional, better trained personnel available for counseling if required.”

Rondrea was a second grade student at Derby Ridge Elementary in Columbia. A school spokeswoman said the district was providing counseling for students and talking with families Thursday morning.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop F Major Crash Investigation Unit was continuing to investigate the wreck Thursday. A trooper from the major crash unit was taking photos of the vehicle involved in the crash and drone footage of the area where the wreck happened.

Patrol Sgt. Scott White said the patrol reconstruct the crash.

“That includes, not only driver condition, vehicle condition,” White said. “If there’s a computer module on the car that they can download they will do that also.”

He said as of their preliminary investigation, the highway patrol does not believe seat belts were used properly.

Several citizens also responded to the wreck, including an emergency room physician who was driving home from work.

A friend of the family who owns Norma’s Carriage House in Springfield, Missouri, is taking donations to help pay for the funeral costs of each family member.

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