GROVESPRING, Mo. – A vehicle carrying six passengers attempted to cross a low-water crossing in Wright County early Friday morning resulting in two dead among other injuries.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the driver of the vehicle told law enforcement that limited sight distance due to the torrential downpour prevented them from seeing around five feet of water passing over the top of a bridge over Parks Creek on Highway M in Grovespring just after midnight.
The vehicle entered the water and was swept around 1,000 feet down the creek. When responders arrived, three people were on shore and water rescue crews were able to assist another passenger out of the water and into an ambulance to assess injuries.
“Three of the six were able to get out of the water. When we found the fourth passenger, they were in the creek clinging to a tree,” said Niangua Fire Chief Shawn Ricks, who was called to assist in the water rescue call. “It took several hours to find the remaining passengers. We walked the creek a lot and the water was extremely high. Once the rain let up and the water started dropping, we were then able to find the car, which had traveled about a half a mile down the creek. It was then that we were able to find the first deceased person.”
The first deceased passenger was located around 3:30 a.m. The search continued into Friday for the remaining missing person, who was found deceased around 9:40 a.m. The victims were identified early Friday afternoon as Devin Holt, 20, of Grovespring and Alexander Roman-Ranelli, 19, of Springfield.
Rescue efforts included crews from the Wright County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Grovespring Fire Department, Niangua Volunteer Fire Department and MSHP search and rescue.
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