NEAR ESSEX, MO (KFVS) - The investigation continued Monday night into a multi-vehicle crash in Stoddard County near Essex that sent a number of people to several local hospitals.
The crash happened around noon Monday on U.S. 60 in the eastbound lanes.
According to the crash report from the Missouri Highway Patrol there were a total of 18 vehicles involved.
The highway patrol now says 33 people were involved in the crash. Out of those 33 people 26 were injured, 4 of them seriously. Of the injured their ages were from 3-years-old to 61-years-old.
Seriously injured were:
Jaclyn King (18), Poplar Bluff
Melissa Reeser, St. Louis
Jackie Chamness (51), Creal Springs
Lana Chamness (61), Creal Springs
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, a farmer was burning trash near some equipment and accidentally caught a field on fire.
Troopers said the smoke from that fire was so thick, two or three cars crashed into one another. Then, a semi truck crashed into the back of that crash and eventually 18 vehicles were involved in the pileup.
At least two people were air lifted to Cape Girardeau and Memphis hospitals. Several others were taken by ambulance for their injuries.
"Some people been throwed out on the ground," said Bob Carroll, who was driving from Sikeston and was one of the first on the scene. Carroll is a volunteer firefighter for Bernie and says he'd never seen a crash like this one.
"We didn't see it happen. We seen when we got up there and they had the road burns and everything. Another couple sitting in the car, they were able to talk. I found on little girl over there. She couldn't respond. She was hurt pretty good. I'm praying that she's ok."
"A car behind us sideswiped us and then from there they kept crashing into the back of us," said Kristen Blackstock of Springfield. "We got out and we started running to get out of the smoke to get out of the way and then an semi came through and plowed through all of the cars."
"A few of them didn't look very good, pretty bad," said Gary Vannoy of Charleston, who was involved the crash. "A lot of people were hurt. They were laying all over."
Investigators believe the crash could have been worse had a second semi not been able to stop.
"He (truck driver) did an excellent job of controlling his truck, maintained it in his lane," said Sgt. Dale Moreland with the Missouri Highway Patrol. "Several feet of skid marks, but he stopped before he got to them."
Moreland reminds drivers to pay attention and don't follow too closely.
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STODDARD COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A multi-car pile up on Highway 60 near Essex has traffic tied up right now.
This crash happened around noon in the eastbound lanes. An emergency crew member tells Heartland News up to 12 vehicles could be involved. Our crew just called in to say they see at least one semi-truck.
A witness we spoke to who was actually in the wreck said several cars had come to a stop because thick smoke from a nearby field had made it hard to see. The witness said her car was rear ended by another car. At some point, the witness said a semi-truck rear ended the initial pile up.
According to our crew on the scene, at least 4 helicopters have been on scene to transport patients to area hospitals. As of 1:00 p.m., 3 people have already been taken by helicopter to hospitals in Cape Girardeau and Memphis.
Witnesses say there's debris all over the road right now. East bound traffic is at a complete standstill as emergency workers clear the scene. It appears west bound traffic is moving, but very slowly.
We will continue to bring you the very latest as it becomes available both on air and on line.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. We will continue to track this story and bring you the latest information as soon as it becomes available.
ESSEX, MO (KAIT) – A multi-car pileup in Stoddard County has traffic at a stand-still.
The crash happened around noon on Monday near Essex, MO on Highway 60. According to Stoddard County Dispatch, at least 12 vehicles are involved in the pile-up, and several people have been evacuated to nearby hospitals by air. Many more are being taken by ambulance.
Dispatch also says an extra ambulance has been called in from Scott County, and another is needed.
There is no word yet on the cause of the accident.
Sikeston Police, Dexter Police, Missouri Highway Patrol, and the Stoddard County Sheriff's Office are currently on scene.
Region 8 News will continue to cover this story and bring you more information on www.kait8.com and on Region8togo.com.