5 emergency personnel injured in Interstate 70 accident

Monday, December 23, 2013

Five emergency personnel members were injured in an accident at the junction of Interstate 70 and US 65 Highway around 3:10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21.

According to a report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Andreas Enyart, 34, Douglas E. Fessenden, 39, Sheldon Kerksiek, 49, Shawn Mullins, 35, and Richard N. Schaefer, 58, all of Marshall, were all injured in the incident. All five were assisting at the scene of a previous injury accident. Enyart, Kerksiek, Mullins and Schaefer are Saline County Fire Protection District firefighters and Fessenden is a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper.

The accident occurred as a 2006 Nissan driven by Timothy D. Perez, 35, of Maryland Heights, was heading westbound on Interstate 70 when he traveled off the roadway, crossed into oncoming traffic and struck Enyart and Fessenden. Perez's Nissan then struck a parked 2001 Ford that had previously been involved in an injury accident, causing the Ford to strike Kerksiek and Mullins and forcing Schaefer to take evasive action.

Enyart and Schaefer were seriously injured and both transported by EMS to University Hospital in Columbia. Fessenden and Mullins suffered minor injuries, and Kerksiek received moderate injuries. Kerksiek and Mullins were transported by EMS to Fitzgibbon Hospital and Fessenden went to Fitzgibbon in a private vehicle. Perez was wearing a safety device and did not receive any injuries.

According to Fire Chief Tony Day, Kerksiek, Mullins and Schaefer have been released from the hospital, and Enyart should be released Monday, Dec. 23. Day also said they would all be back to the department in their own time.

Day said he was told an accident early Saturday morning caused damage to the cables in the median. At 3:20 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, Uriel Chairez, 39, of Kendallville, Ind., was traveling eastbound in a 2003 GMC Envoy and had a minor injury accident on Interstate 70 at the 78 mile marker. Chairez was taken by Sweet Springs Ambulance to I-70 Community Hospital. The crash occurred as Chairez traveled off the roadway and overturned several times. Chairez was wearing a safety device.

SCFPD and Missouri State Highway Patrol were working the scene of an accident that occurred at 2:40 p.m. Saturday at the junction of Interstate 70 and US 65 Highway when the emergency personnel were injured. Santos Andres Ramirez, 56, of Hastings, Neb., was driving westbound on Interstate 70 and lost control of the 2001 Ford he was driving. The Ford ran off the left side of the roadway, struck the median cable, traveled across the top of the guardrail and overturned, coming to a rest on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70. Maria Ramirez, 55, of Hastings, Neb., was an occupant in the car. Both suffered serious injuries and were taken to Fitzgibbon Hospital by Saline County EMS. Both were also wearing safety devices. Trooper Fessenden was investigating the scene.

Saline County Sheriff's Department and Marshall Police Department assisted at the scene, according to the highway patrol report.

Editor's note: Kelsey Alumbaugh is a staff writer for The Marshall Democrat-News, a sister newspaper of The Concordian.