Cassville man dies in Hwy. 60 wreck

Thursday, August 10, 2017
A 2015 Chevrolet Equinox was involved in a head on collision with a 2017 Freightliner, killing a Cassville man and injuring a 14-year-old Cassville girl. Murray Bishoff/Cassville Democrat

14-year-old passenger airlifted to hospital

A Cassville man died and a 14-year-old girl was seriously injured following a wreck at 10:15 a.m. on Highway 60 in Verona.

According to a Missouri State Highway Patrol report, James Turner, 59, of Cassville, was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Equinox eastbound when, in heavy rain, his vehicle crossed the center line and struck head on a 2017 Freightliner, being driven by George Belthuis, 61, of Oldfield.

Turner was pronounced dead at the scene by Lawrence County Coroner Scott Lakin at 11:15 a.m. A passenger in the vehicle, Leslie Turner, 14, of Cassville, suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to Mercy Hospital in Springfield. Belthuis was not injured.

All involved were wearing safety devices, and both vehicles were totaled.

Verona police and firemen and multiple ambulances from Mercy responded to the scene prior to calling for assistance from Monett firefighters. The tractor trailer ended up in the ditch on the north side of the road, and the SUV in the south ditch.

This is the 66th fatal wreck of the year for Troop D of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which covers 18 counties in southwest Missouri, including Lawrence and Barry.

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