The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Joplin Metro

October 9, 2008

Authorities release names of those killed, injured in series of I-44 accidents

By Derek Spellman

A Diamond schoolteacher and her husband were in stable condition Thursday after suffering serious injuries in a pileup on Interstate 44 southeast of Joplin.

Authorities, meanwhile, announced that a Joplin man was among the two motorists killed in the series of accidents, and that they were continuing to reconstruct precisely what happened Wednesday morning on the fog-shrouded highway.

Sgt. Mike Watson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said Anthony D. Embrey, 41, of Joplin, was killed in the first of several crashes that took place in swift succession shortly before 6:50 a.m. Wednesday. The chain of crashes led to a pileup in the eastbound lanes of I-44, between the 13.4- and 13.6-mile markers, and ultimately killed two motorists and injured seven others.

Embrey was driving a car that ran up under a semitrailer that was involved in the initial crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Embrey was a local projects manager for Empire District Electric Co.

A statement released Thursday night by Empire read:

“The Empire District Electric Co. is saddened to learn of the death” of one of its employees. “Tony was a well-respected member of the Empire family for seven years. The company and all of its employees send their most heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Tony’s family during this difficult time.”

Jasper County Coroner Jerry Neil on Thursday identified the second fatality as William Campbell, 31, of Baxter, Tenn. Neil said he also planned to obtain dental records for additional verification.

Campbell was driving a truck rig for Willis Shaw Express, based in Elm Springs, Ark., that ran into the rear of the same trailer as Embrey. He, too, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Among those injured in the ensuing crashes were Diamond schoolteacher Julia Price-Allison, 41, and her husband, Ricky Allison, 62, both of Quapaw, Okla. They suffered serious injuries and, after being flown to St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, were transported to a hospital in Springfield.

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