One airlifted in Saturday morning crash in Columbia

An ARCH Air Medical Services helicopter prepares to land at the scene of a four-vehicle crash on Route 3 at South Main Street in Columbia on Saturday morning. (Corey Saathoff photo)

A Columbia man remains hospitalized in critical condition following a four-car crash involving a taxi cab that was traveling in the wrong direction Saturday morning on Route 3 at South Main Street in Columbia.

The driver of the green and white taxi cab, Adam Wagner, 26, of St. Charles, Mo., was arrested for aggravated DUI, aggravated reckless driving, failure to wear a seat belt and improper lane usage (wrong way driving). He refused medical transport at the scene.

Columbia police said they received an Illinois State Police Emergency Radio Network alert at 7:17 a.m. on Saturday of a green and white cab stopping on the roadway on I-255 southbound and otherwise driving erratically. Officers were searching for the car, which apparently took the Columbia exit and continued southbound on Route 3 in the northbound lanes. The wrong-way cab caused a minor traffic collision between two cars on Route 3 at Carl Street shortly before the much more serious four-car crash in the northbound lanes of Route 3 at South Main at 7:24 a.m.

This cab collided with a 2010 Toyota Prius driven by Brian Baker, 62, of Columbia, which led to a secondary collision at the intersection involving a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am driven by Chelsea Wegener, 24, of Marissa, and a 2013 Ford F150 driven by Jessica Villarreal, 45, of Shiloh. Wegener was transported by ambulance to St. Anthony’s Medical Center in St. Louis County for treatment of minor injuries. Villarreal was not injured, police said.

Baker, a member of Hope Christian Church, was treated at the scene by Columbia EMS and then airlifted by an ARCH Air Medical Services helicopter to Saint Louis University Hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

Columbia Fire Chief Mike Roediger said his department used its Jaws of Life equipment to extract Baker from his car.

Columbia police conducted an initial accident reconstruction Saturday morning, and will return to the crash site to continue its investigation, Columbia Deputy Police Chief Jerry Paul said.

Check back for more information once it becomes available from official sources.


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