Route 3 crash in Columbia

Pictured is the vehicle that struck the pole on Route 3 in Columbia Wednesday afternoon. (Corey Saathoff photo)

Emergency personnel responded shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday to a single vehicle crash near the intersection of Route 3 and Veterans Parkway.

Columbia police said a black 2003 Chevy Blazer driven by Logan Craig, 26, of Columbia was traveling south on Route 3 attempting to get into the right hand turn lane at Veterans Parkway.  He lost control of the Blazer, ran off the road and struck a utility pole. The pole snapped in half, and wires fell onto a white 2008 Jeep Liberty driven by Elizabeth Patock, 74, of Columbia.

Wires also fell on Route 3, causing a traffic shutdown.  For safety reasons, emergency personnel kept Patock and her 6-year-old granddaughter in the Jeep until Ameren was able to make sure the power lines were no longer charged. Ameren did so and the wires were removed from the vehicle and roadway.

Craig sustained minor injuries in the crash and was transported to St. Anthony’s Medical Center in St. Louis County.

Main Street in Columbia was congested from the extra traffic created by the detour while Route 3 was closed.

Route 3 northbound reopened about 4:43 p.m., and Route 3 southbound was reopened shortly after 5 p.m.

Shortly after the Route 3 incident, Columbia received another call for a crash on eastbound Route 158 near Toddhall Retreat Center. Millstadt Fire was requested to respond. There were possible minor injuries.

Following the crash, Ameren provided safety tips regarding downed lines on or near vehicles due to a crash.

“The most important message is assume the wire is energized and stay inside your vehicle,” Ameren spokesman Brian Bretsch said.  “Call 9-1-1. If a Good Samaritan approaches the vehicle, tell them to stay away until an Ameren Illinois lineman can confirm the power line is dead.”

If the car is on fire, Ameren suggests that you jump clear of the vehicle with feet together and without touching the vehicle and the ground at the same time.

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