UPDATE 11:30 A.M. — The Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that the child who walked onto the interstate is in critical condition but his injuries are not life-threatening.

Mike Mitchell, the spokesperson for MSRP Troop I, reported that the child has developmental disabilities and likes to wander. Troopers were told that his mother was preoccupied for a moment and the child ran toward the interstate while she was not looking.

They live in an apartment building that is extremely close to the interstate, Mitchell said.

UPDATE 4/13/23 — A Missouri State Highway Patrol crash report reveals that the child walked onto the road.

A 911 caller who said that the child fell out of a car before they were hit was incorrect, according to troopers. A crash investigation showed that the child simply walked onto the roadway.

The 5-year-old is a boy from Waynesville. There are no updates on their condition at the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia. The crash report lists them as having serious injuries.

The driver of the 2020 Kenworth tractor-trailer is a 66-year-old man from St. Louis.

Original article, published April 12, 2023:

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. — A crash on I-44 has left a 5-year-old child injured, according to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop I is investigating an accident at Mile Marker 157 between Waynesville and St. Robert on I-44 Wednesday evening involving a child seemingly struck by a vehicle on the interstate.

Troop I said that troopers arrived on the scene just before 6 p.m. and found a child lying on the interstate who had been struck, apparently by a vehicle.

Troop I is working to find out how the child ended up on the interstate, but Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department received a call saying the child had fallen from the window of a moving vehicle.

The child was airlifted to a hospital in Columbia in serious condition, according to Troop I. The child’s parents were located and notified of the incident.

One lane of eastbound I-44 is still closed and Troop I said there is currently no timeframe for it to reopen.

Due to the traffic buildup from the crash, a tractor-trailer and a FedEx truck collided, but there were no injuries, according to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department.