Child dies on Hwy. 60

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A 1-year-old girl was killed after being struck by a passing motorist on Highway 60 near Monett on Saturday.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Sierra Graessle was walking in the westbound lane of Highway 60, one mile west of Monett, when a 2004 Ford Taurus, driven by Dixie Steward, 61, of Crane, drove up on her. The driver was unable to avoid a collision and struck the child with the right front corner of the vehicle.

Graessle was pronounced dead at the scene at 9 p.m. by Barry County Coroner Jim Fohn. Monett police, fire and the Barry County Sheriff's Department all responded to the scene.

This was the 25th fatality in the Highway Patrol's Troop D area this year and the third fatality this month.

Other crashes

* A Springfield woman was hurt in a two-vehicle crash two miles west of Verona at 2:27 p.m. on Sunday. Cathlyn McMullin, 65, was driving south on Highway W in a 2005 Pontiac when a westbound 2004 Dodge, driven by Charles Withnell, 51, of Verona, made a left hand turn and pulled into McMullin's path. McMullin received moderate injuries and was taken by private vehicle to a hospital for treatment. Withnell was not hurt.

* A Monett man was hurt in a two-vehicle crash at 9 p.m. on Saturday. Joseph Birkenbach, 57, was driving east on Highway 60, one mile east of Monett, in a 1985 Chevrolet C10 pickup, when he came upon an eastbound 2002 Chevrolet S10, driven by Oscar Avila, 15, of Verona, that was stopped in the road to make a left hand turn. Birkenbach's pickup struck the Avila S10 in the rear. Birkenbach received minor injuries and was taken by private vehicle to Cox Monett Hospital for treatment. Avila was not hurt.

* A Cassville man was hurt in a single vehicle crash at 2:50 p.m. on Friday in Christian County. Jeffrey Hickey, 49, was driving north on Highway 65, 10 miles south of Ozark, when his vehicle went off the roadway and struck a rock bluff. Hickey received moderate injuries and was taken to Cox Hospital South in Springfield for treatment.

* On Monday, three people were injured in a two-vehicle crash that occurred on Highway 13 about one mile north of Crane at 3:35 p.m. The crash occurred when a 2000 Ford Mustang, driven by Brooke R. Riddlesperger, 16, of Crane, stopped to make a left turn into a private drive and was struck from behind by a 2006 Jeep, driven by Jennifer K. Keithley, 29, of Marionville. Keithley was taken to Cox Hospital South in Springfield with minor injuries. Riddlesperger and a passenger in her vehicle, Abby B. Youngblood, 17, of Crane, were both taken to Mercy Hospital in Springfield with minor injuries.

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