I had just returned home from shopping in St Louis yesterday, August 6th, when the fire department tones dropped and they were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident with ejection on westbound lanes of I-44 near the Stanton Overpass. I grabbed my camera and Onxy and I headed that way in the truck…I figured traffic would be a bear on 44 in the eastbound lanes so I took the North Service Road east, which was a good decision since eastbound 44 was backed up at least two miles and even the fire trucks were having a hard time getting there. I parked near the old resale shop and donned my safety vest, making sure the ac was on for Onxy and then walked back down the service road along the fence to photograph the single car accident, facing west in the passing lane with heavy damage….as I was walking up, two ambulances from St Clair rolled up in the westbound lanes and it appeared there were two to four troopers on scene as well as Chief Eric of Sullivan Fire….
…what you cannot see from this angle, was emergency personnel performing cpr on the driver that was ejected, located in the median grass on the other side of the car…a passenger was also still trapped in the car….
…and firefighters attended to the trapped driver soon after, when additional personnel arrived to make that possible….
…the driver was reportedly passing a tractor trailer on the right side when the two collided and the car rolled, ejecting the driver who was not wearing a seat belt….the driver was fatally injured…the normal result of ejections…I never get out on that interstate or any other highway without my seat belt on…ejections are the main reason we have seat belts and they are one of the best safety devices that were added to cars and trucks long ago.
Bright and early Thursday morning, July 28th…at least earlier than I had planned to get up that morning, I woke to the sounds of police officers talking about a hydrant located in front of a house that was on fire and jumped out of bed, put my contacts in, and got dressed, grabbed my camera, and Onyx and I headed to the truck…I assumed I had slept thru the tones…but one should never assume things. I had made a quick call to figure out where the fire was and then we started toward Virginia Street, could see heavy dark colored smoke as we turned down Euclid and I turned around on Center and parked half a block away, so as to be out of the way of any other fire trucks responding to the scene…this is how it looked as I walked up the street to it…
…at first assuming the house visible in the photo above that sits on the corner of Virginia and Center Streets, was on fire at the rear of the structure…proving that wrong as I walked up on the fire truck, police officers, and paramedics helping firefighters re-position their hoselines to fight a smaller house located behind the corner house….
…I then saw good friend and retired firefighter Jack Cuneio standing back by the alley behind the smaller house on fire, and walked over to talk to him…he told me the house was built and owned by the Rodgers family, who were no longer around the area, due to incarceration these days. The Marler boy was standing there with him and he had reported the fire, spotting it as he was preparing for work that morning….
…I stopped to shoot some video at this point for the local paper and called Bartle to let him know I was there…he was snoozing in as well and decided to stay put once I told him how small the building was….then I shot some more images afterward….
…it didnt take long at all for firefighters to bring the fire under control…I found out later that fire investigators determined the fire to be set.
I was on my way home from work the morning of July 21st, day before my birthday, and came upon a motor vehicle accident ( MVA ) about a mile east of the East Overpass at Sullivan. Not knowing if Jim Bartle had responded to cover it, I pulled over to the shoulder to photograph it….looked like a dually pickup pulling a flatbed gooseneck trailer of lumber had run off the road, jacknifed, and overturned….and lumber was everywhere all over the hillside….and the driver appeared to be trapped…while I was there, a medical helicopter landed on the eastbound lanes and then Sullivan Fire went to work to free the driver from the overturned pickup truck….