Three people died in a multi-vehicle accident Friday, May 12 on Interstate 29, just north of Highway 92 in Platte City. The cause appears to be slowed traffic due to a Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) striping project on a busy weekend, according to a Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report.
James Wilson, 54, and Lisa Wilson, 44, of Effingham, Kan. and Carol Wehking, 75, of Lancaster, Kan. were pronounced dead at the scene after the crash occurred at 12:24 p.m. All three victims were wearing their seat belts in their 2004 GMC Envoy at the time of the accident.
At the time of the crash, MoDOT had the left lane of southbound I-29 closed at the start of a busy travel weekend to paint the recently resurfaced area.
According to the crash report, the victims’ 2004 GMC Envoy and a 1979 Kenworth truck were stopped in the right lane on southbound I-29 due the crew ahead of them. A 2002 Dodge Ram was also traveling south on I-29 at full highway speed and struck the Envoy, pushing it into the rear of the Kenworth truck, causing the semi to drift into the left lane and strike a 2004 Ford Econoline van.
The Envoy overturned and came to rest in a crumpled condition on the right shoulder of I-29 on its top. The Dodge Ram traveled off the right side of the road into the grass and came to rest on its wheels. The other two vehicles remained under control of the drivers and were able to pull over to the shoulder.
Rescue workers arrived on scene and had to remove the doors of the Dodge Ram to remove the driver, John Klapp, 71, from Correctionville, Iowa. He suffered serious injuries, and passenger Christopher Klapp, 40, suffered minor injuries.
Both were transported to an area hospital for treatment. John Klapp was not wearing his safety device during the crash.
Troop A of the Missouri Highway Patrol closed southbound I-29 and began to divert traffic onto Highway 371 and through Platte City on Highway 92, which quickly backed up to Tracy. The Interstate remained closed until just before 2 p.m. but due to the backup, traffic continued to move slowly for another half hour.