MSHP reports two people died in traffic crashes during the 30-hour 2019 Christmas holiday counting period,

The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) reports two people died in traffic crashes during the 30-hour 2019 Christmas holiday counting period, which ran from 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 24, through 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 25.

During the holiday period, troopers investigated the following:

Traffic Crashes ― 91; Traffic Crash Injuries ― 23; Traffic Crash Fatalities ― 2; and DWI ― 18.

Last year during the 102-hour Christmas counting period, there were 1,155 traffic crashes. In those crashes, 11 people were killed and another 421 were injured. During the 2018 Christmas holiday, troopers arrested 106 people for driving while impaired.]

According to a press release from the MSHP, there were no boating crashes or drownings over the 2019 Christmas holiday counting period.

Both fatalities occurred in the Troop C, Weldon Spring, area, on Christmas Day.

Leon J. Barnett, 48, De Soto, M., died when another vehicle struck the motorcycle he was driving. Barnett was traveling at a low rate of speed in the northbound lanes of Interstate 55 in Jefferson County when another vehicle traveling the same direction changed lanes. The front of the second vehicle struck the rear of Barnett’s motorcycle, causing Barnett to be ejected. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash but was ultimately pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to an online accident report. The driver of the vehicle that struck him sustained minor injuries; he was wearing a seat belt.

Elizabeth J. Rutledge, 32, Troy, Mo., died when the vehicle she was driving traveled off the right side of the roadway and she overcorrected, causing the vehicle to return to the roadway and overturn. Rutledge was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. The crash occurred on Highway H in Silex, Mo., in Lincoln County. Lincoln County Ambulance personnel pronounced Rutledge dead at the scene.