Fatal wreck along I-44; good Samaritan killed


EUREKA, Mo. – The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed a woman, a good Samaritan who stopped to check on accident victims on Interstate 44 in Eureka, was killed in a second crash.

Officials say it started with a collision between a pick-up truck hauling port-a-potties and a tractor-trailer just after 10:40 a.m. Tuesday.

Two women in a 2016 Jeep Wrangler saw the first accident, pulled onto the shoulder, and got out to check on the victims.

The women, identified as 28-year-old Jessie Christopher of Fenton and 30-year-old Heather Baker of Kirkwood were medical professionals; possibly nurses.

Officials say Christopher and Baker were shielded from the interstate by the Jeep.

State police say with traffic slowing for the crash, 60-year-old Tony Pope, driving a 2005 International tractor-trailer hit his brakes, slid on the wet pavement, and crashed into a 2016 Honda CRV.

The tractor-trailer then jack-knifed and hit the Jeep.

The Jeep struck the women and Baker was killed on impact.

Traffic backed up almost to the Meramec River with the westbound interstate closed or partially closed at Antire Road for nearly four hours.   

Police always say it’s best to stay in your vehicle at accident scenes, if possible. Still, it’s hard for them to second-guess people who try to help, especially those with medical training.

“The type of collision this was, they probably could have pulled over, called 911, reported it, and if they felt they wanted to wait until EMS arrived, fine,” said Cpl. Dallas Thompson, Missouri State Highway Patrol.  “If they did have some medical training that’s just their nature.  They wanted to get out and help.  It’s just a sad situation.”  

Christopher and Pope were hospitalized with serious injuries.

 No one else was hurt.   

There’s no word on what caused the first accident. 

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