Driver killed on I-44 near St. James while driving in wrong direction

4:59 AM, Nov 5, 2012   |    comments
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St. James, MO (KSDK) - A three vehicle collision early Saturday in Phelps County has left a man driving in the wrong direction on I-44 dead of his injuries.

Missouri Highway Patrol troopers say 50 year old John O'Neal of Sullivan was eastbound in the westbound lanes of the interstate just after 1:00 a.m. Saturday when his car encountered two oncoming tractor trailer units.

The first westbound semi tried to avoid O'Neal's car and ran off the highway, but not before O'Neal's car struck the trailer portion of the 18-wheeler, knocking the vehicle over into the median.

The second westbound tractor trailer truck tried to avoid the initial accident and that driver also lost control and drove off the pavement where his rig then flipped over into the ditch.

O'Neal was ejected from his car in the incident and pronounced dead at the scene of the accident near St. James.

The driver of one of the tractor trailer unit, identified as a California man was slightly injured and taken to a Rolla hospital for treatment.

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