ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A horrible crash in St. Charles killed St. Louis City Alderman Greg Carter, the 27th Ward Alderman.
Now the Missouri Highway Patrol says a pick-up truck driver has been arrested for DWI.
Authorities say Carter was driving a UPS truck that was involved in the crash. It happened at the St. Charles on Highway 370 around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Missouri Highway Patrol spokesperson Al Nothum says the accident happened when a pick-up truck rear-ended a tractor trailer. That tractor trailer driver got out to assess the damage. Then a Fed Ex semi driver stopped to help the first tractor trailer driver. Another semi also stopped. That's when investigators believe the UPS truck with Alderman Carter in it slammed into the second semi. He was killed.
It is obvious from the minute you walk into St. Louis City hall that there has been a death in the family. The entrance is draped in black bunting in memory of Alderman Carter.
"I`ve asked city departments that have city flags to lower them to half staff," said Mayor Francis Slay. "This has been a real tragedy and he is going to be missed here at City Hall."
In the board chambers, Carter`s desk is still piled high with the unfinished work of a job he loved and had held since being elected 27th Ward alderman in 1993.
"He was most proud of the work in the 27th ward," said 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French. "There has been a noticeable difference in his tenure as alderman over there. A lot of development he was very proud of that and he had a lot to be proud of."
Carter had recently been in the unenviable position of chairman of the Public Safety committee, which was at the center of the firefighter pension debate.
But he had also once been the head of the Human Services committee and has the respect of those doing that work as well.
"It`s a tremendous loss I think for certainly social service programs. That was his interest more than anything else and it is going to be very hard to replace someone who had the kind of sensitivity that he did," said St. Louis Health and Human Services Director Bill Siedhoff.
James Clark, who runs Better Family Life, first met Carter when Clark was an assistant to mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. "Greg had a passion for helping people and not just people who wore a shirt and tie everyday. Greg really made his mark with the common person and St. Louis suffered a major loss," he said.
Carter had worked for UPS since 1987, and was planning to retire as soon as he finished putting his daughter through college.
Aldermanic President Lewis Reed admired Carter`s stamina. "On Friday mornings at the board of aldermen, when he would come in at 10:00, a lot of people didn`t realize he had just been working all night long and he`d come in and look fresh and engage in debate."
Alderman French, who is a friend of the Carter family as well as a colleague was shocked by the news. "'I think it was said best by somebody else today on Twitter. He was about as universally liked as you can be in politics and that is a great testimony to his legacy."
As for filling the vacant seat, the Democratic Central Committee will pick someone to run in a special election, probably held in October, who will hold the seat until the end of what would have been Carter`s term in March 2013.
Carter was the son of the late Missouri State Senator Paula Carter. Carter's nephew, Chris Carter, is a Missouri State Representative.
Tweets From City Officials:
Jennifer M. Joyce
@JenniferJoyceCA -- Incredibly sad news this morning. RIP Alderman Carter. Prayers for family.
@STLCompOffice -- Comptroller Green: "My heart goes out to Greg Carter's family. May God bring them comfort during this time."
@PresReed My heart goes out to Greg Carter's family. He will be greatly missed and will be in my prayers.
@shanecohn -- can't believe it. A good friend & colleague passed away today. He was a charismatic, smart, fun, caring person. Greg Carter will be missed.