Semi truck crashes into several cars; five people injured
A semi truck barreled into a slow-moving lane of vehicles during rush hour Monday evening on Interstate 29 north of Platte City, causing a six-vehicle accident that left five persons injured — one seriously — and four vehicles totaled. Camden Point Fire Chief Walt Stubbs, whose department responded to the scene along with Central Platte Fire, Northland Regional Ambulance District, West Platte Ambulance, the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Platte County Sheriff’s Department, said the debris field left by the accident was “probably 200 yards long.” He also said it was amazing there were no more injuries. “We were very fortunate there were not more people hurt or even killed,” he said. According to a report by the Highway Patrol, the wreck occurred around 5:30 p.m. at the 22.8 mile marker of northbound Interstate 29 as traffic slowed due to highway construction and rush hour. Five of the six vehicles were slowly moving in the driving lane when a 2014 Freightliner semi-truck, driven by Robert Sanko, 45, of Topeka, Kan. did not slow and rear-ended a 2004 Volkswagen driven by Jerry Wofford, 65, of Topeka, Kan. Wofford’s vehicle slid off the right side of the road and came to a rest. Sanko then struck a 2004 GMC Sierra driven by Robert Dixon, 42, of Kansas City, and forced the pickup into the median. Sanko’s semi continued on, striking a 2009 Acura driven by Debra Nichols, 55, of St. Joseph, pushing her into the median cables. Finally, Sanko struck a 2001 Kenworth semi-truck driven by Willie McIntosh, 53, of Mt. Grove. McIntosh’s vehicle then hit a 2013 Ford F-350 pickup, driven by Richard Fox, of Iowa. McIntosh’s semi came to rest in the middle of the highway, blocking both lanes of traffic. Sanko travelled off the right side of the road, finally coming to a stop. Wofford suffered serious injuries and was transported to Heartland Regional in St. Joseph by ambulance. As of The Citizen’s Tuesday deadline, his status was no known. Sanko suffered moderate injuries and Dixon, Nichols and McIntosh suffered minor injuries and were also taken to an area hospital. Fox was not injured and his vehicle suffered minor damage. Sanko, Wofford, Dixon and Nichols’ vehicles were all totaled in the wreck while the other semi suffered just moderate damage. The northbound lanes of Interstate 29 were closed for several hours while crews removed the cars and debris from the scene.