traffic accident

A Festus man had to be extricated from his car following a three-vehicle accident Tuesday morning, March 20, on Hwy. B east of Butcher Branch Road and west of Hillsboro. After the man, who was seriously injured, was freed from the car, he was taken by helicopter to an area hospital for treatment, authorities reported.

The accident also involved a tanker truck carrying hazardous material, Hillsboro Fire Chief Brian Gaudet said.

At 8:25 a.m., Christofer J. Yeager, 31, of Festus was driving a 2004 Honda Civic west on Hwy. B when the Civic crossed the center line and struck the left rear of an eastbound 2019 Volvo VNR tanker truck driven by Travis R. Printy, 52, of Jerseyville, Ill., the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported.

A third vehicle, an eastbound 2020 Subaru Crosstrek driven by Holly D. White, 42, of Dittmer, was struck by debris. the report said.

No injuries were reported for Printy or White.

However, Yeager was listed in critical condition on Tuesday afternoon, according to a spokeswoman for Mercy Hospital St. Louis in Creve Coeur, where Yeager was taken for treatment.

Gaudet said it took about 30 minutes to free Yeager from the car following the accident.

“The patient was trapped to the point where several pieces of extrication tools had to be used to get him out,” Gaudet said. “It was a very complicated extrication. However, our crews did a good job of rapidly getting him out.”

Since the tanker truck was carrying flammable liquid, it complicated matters, Gaudet said.

He said no product leaked from the tanker truck, but the product had to be off-loaded from the damaged tanker to a recovery tanker, and the Jefferson County Hazmat Team was called to oversee the process. Team members monitored the air quality to ensure explosive vapors did not build up during the off-loading process.

Gaudet said Hwy. B was closed at the site of the accident until about 12:10 p.m.

The Civic was totaled, the tanker truck was moderately damaged and the Crosstrek had minor damage from the accident, the patrol reported.

All three drivers were wearing seat belts, the report said.

The Cedar Hill Fire Protection District helped with the call, and the Mapaville Fire Protection District covered other calls for the Hillsboro Fire District during the incident. In addition, the Valle Ambulance District and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene, Gaudet said.