75-year-old driving wrong way on I-44 in Fenton dies in crash


FENTON, Mo. — A 75-year-old man was driving the wrong way on I-44 near the Maritz overpass in Fenton Monday night when he was killed in a crash, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Michael Branlett of Gray Summit, Missouri was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee and not wearing a seatbelt. He was driving eastbound in the westbound direction of I-44. The incident happened at about 9:55 p.m.

Multiple lanes of the interstate were closed following the crash. Authorities were diverting traffic onto Bowles Avenue.

MSHP said a semi-truck attempted to avoid the Jeep by steering to the right, but the front of the Jeep still hit the front left corner of the semi. The Jeep then traveled off the roadway to the left and hit the concrete traffic barrier. When the Jeep returned to the roadway, a semi-truck hit it. Then a Lexus hit the Jeep.

A 73-year-old woman and a 74-year-old man in the Lexus suffered minor injuries.

FOX 2 will continue to update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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