I-44 Truck Crash Occurs on Same Day MoDOT Announces Construction Delay

A driver was injured in a commercial truck/Jeep accident Thursday while heading westbound on Interstate 44, west of Antire Road near Eureka. Plus, transportation managers now say I-44 Antire Road project will not be complete until next month.

A Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) spokesperson stated Thursday that crews were working hard to get all eastbound and westbound lanes near from Lewis Road to Antire Road reopened by early- to mid-October, weather-permitting. The westbound exit and entrance ramp at Antire Road also is expected to open next month.

The lanes originally were expected to reopen in mid-September, but MoDOT faced unexpected utility delays during the project. There also are additional pavement repairs that need to be finished before the eastbound and westbound lanes can reopen.

Ironically, Thursday also brought another accident within the construction area, during which a driver of commercial trailer truck attempted to change lanes on I-44 and struck another vehicle, prompting the second vehicle to hit the concrete median barrier.

Donald Enoch, a 67-year-old from Ravenswood, WV, was driving a 1995 Peterbilt 379 semi-trailer truck at 9:45 a.m. Thursday when he struck a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee being driven by Joseph Rutz from Washington, MO. The impact caused Rutz' Jeep to crash into the median.

Both men were wearing safety belts, according to a Missouri Highway Patrol report.

Rutz was taken for minor injuries to the St. Clare Medical Center by a Fenton Fire Protection District crew.

Kara Price, MoDOT senior customer relations specialist, said MoDOT teams appreciate drivers' patience during this construction, which is being done in one season rather than spanning over a two-year period as originally planned.

"Once it is completed, motorists will notice this section of I-44 will have smoother pavement and a longer life-span to accommodate St. Louis motorists," said Price.

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