Joplin police today released the names of those killed and injured in a triple fatality accident Tuesday afternoon on Interstate 44 east of the Missouri Highway 249 interchange.

Capt. Nick Jimenez of the Joplin Police Department said a Toyota RAV4 driven by Pravash Ojha, of Blue Springs, was eastbound in the third lane of I-44 and was struck in the rear by a Toyota pickup truck when he stopped in traffic.

Ojha and his 4-year-old son were taken to local hospitals. The boy's injuries are described as life-threatening. His father is reported to be in stable condition today.

The mother of the boy, Sraddha Ojha Khanal, of Blue Springs, who was sitting in the front passenger seat of the RAV4, was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to police.

Two backseat passengers — identified as the grandparents of the family and from Nepal — also died from the injuries they sustained. Shanta Kanal died at a local hospital. The grandfather, Govinda Khanal, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The name of the other driver involved has not been released. The accident remains under investigation by the major crash team of the Joplin Police Department.

  

Jeff Lehr is a reporter for The Joplin Globe. 

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