Tragedy strikes again on Columbia’s Route 3 - Republic-Times | News

Tragedy strikes again on Columbia’s Route 3

By on September 3, 2018 at 1:11 am

Stacie K.Thoma

For the second time this year, a crash on Route 3 in Columbia has claimed the life of a local woman following a two-vehicle crash that occurred about 8:36 p.m. Sunday at Route 3 and Veterans Parkway, police said.

Columbia Deputy Chief of Police Jason Donjon said Stacie Thoma, 37, of Columbia, was driving a 2002 light-colored Buick sedan east on Veterans Parkway across Route 3 toward Columbia High School when a white 2010 Ford F-150 driven by Michael Vanderschans, 33, of Winfield, Mo., collided with the Buick.

Both drivers were transported by ambulance to St. Anthony’s Medical Center in St. Louis, where Thoma was pronounced dead. A passenger in the pickup truck, Coleen Wyatt, 29, of Winfield, Mo., was also transported to the hospital. The injuries to Vanderschans and Wyatt are not life-threatening, police said.

According to witnesses on scene, the driver of the pickup truck ran a red light before colliding with the Buick, police said.

Columbia police are investigating the crash.

Pictured is a special cake baked by Thoma’s co-workers at Schnucks Market Place in Columbia. (submitted photo)

Thoma was leaving her job in the bakery at Schnucks Market Place in Columbia when the crash occurred.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Stacie’s family and friends during this very difficult time,” Schnucks Columbia Market Place manager Tom Beckerle said. “Not only was Stacie a very dependable and loyal worker, she was also a compassionate person — putting the needs of her customers and fellow teammates ahead of her own. Stacie will be sorely missed by all here at Schnucks Columbia Market Place.”

Sunday’s fatal crash brought back painful memories for the sister of Emily Webb, who was killed at that very intersection in February when the driver of a dump truck ran a red light. 

“I didn’t post much at the time because our family was in shock and grieving, but waking up today and seeing the news that another horrific accident happened at the same place just has me so pained and sick to my stomach,” Abby Peters-Click wrote on Facebook. “We all have lives that are happening every day and every minute of every day we have something going on or a place to be…. Slow down, be respectful when driving and just plain pay attention. I have to relive the pain everyday I drive through that intersection.” 

Since the fatal crash in February, the Columbia Police Department and Illinois Department of Transportation have taken steps in an attempt to improve safety along Route 3.

To view Thoma’s full obituary, click here.

Read more about the crash and the community and police response in the September 5, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times.

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Andrea F.D. Saathoff

Andrea is a graduate of Gibault High School and the University of Missouri School of Journalism, the University of Missouri Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College of Education. She lives in Columbia with her husband and their twin toddler sons. When she isn't cheering on St. Louis Cardinals baseball or riding the emotional roller coaster of Mizzou Tigers football, she enjoys attending and participating in the many family events the county has to offer. email: andrea@republictimes.net