Two Die in Jefferson County Wreck

(Jefferson County, MO) Two Ste. Genevieve residents are dead after a 5 vehicle accident on Interstate 55 in Jefferson County. Highway Patrol reports show it happened about 1:30 Monday afternoon as 66 year old Rebecca J. Byrd and 72 year old Leonard W. Byrd, were killed in the crash. Troopers indicate the wreck occurred as a tractor trailer truck was being driven north on Interstate 55 in the third lane, just north of Route Z, by 58 year old James A. Milstead of Bowling Green, Missouri. A car was being driven north in the same lane under the posted speed limit, by 23 year old Jacob D. Stevenson, of Arnold, when the truck came up from behind but was unable to stop before crashing into Stevenson's car. The car then ran off the right side of the highway and rolled over. The diesel swerved to the left and crashed into the right side of a car driven by 40 year old Deanna L. Vander, of Festus. The tractor trailer continued across the median smashing through the cable barrier and into the southbound lanes of the interstate. The cable whipped around and crashed into a car driven south by 54 year old John D. Crawford, of Cooter, Missouri. The truck then crashed into the front of the car driven south by Rebecca Byrd. Byrd and her passenger Leonard Byrd were both pronounced dead at the scene. Stevenson received moderate injuries and was taken to Mercy Hospital South at St. Louis. Everyone involved in the wreck, except Leonard Byrd, was wearing a seat belt when it occurred.