7-year-old killed when truck and horse-drawn carriage collide in Missouri


A 7-year-old boy died and several people were left injured, police said, after a pickup truck and a horse-drawn carriage collided in Missouri on Thursday.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. Juston Wheetley, who responded to the crash, told Fox News that the carriage, carrying six people, was headed to a blueberry patch and had almost arrived when the truck struck it from behind.

Wheetley said the crash happened around 6:45 a.m. on Highway OO in St. Francois County, an hour and a half south of St. Louis.

He said the 7-year-old boy was pronounced dead at the scene. Wheetley said the driver of the buggy, a 19-year-old man, was not injured in the crash. A 12-year-old boy, a 10-year-old girl, a 50-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man were airlifted to area hospitals with serious injuries, he added.

Updates about the conditions of the injured parties were not available at the time of publication.

“You could definitely tell there was a lot of emotions at the scene,” Wheetley told Fox News.

The dead boy was identified as Mervin Shirk of Farmington, according to the crash report.

In the report, police said the 16-year-old driver of the pickup truck, who is from Fredericktown, was “inattentive to the roadway ahead and failed to see” the horse-drawn carriage. The report said the crash ejected those in the buggy.

Police said everyone in the buggy was from the same family and are from a Mennonite community in Farmington.

Wheetley said the two teens in the truck were not injured; the horse pulling the carriage was taken to a local veterinarian to be checked out.

Wheetley said the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s crash reconstruction team is taking over the investigation.

“My first impression was that it was devastating,” Wheetley told Fox News. “I’ve worked this area for about 15 years and I don’t remember anything this tragic happening with the Mennonite community.”

He reminded people that “driving is a responsibility and a privilege and we should take that responsibility seriously and pay attention when operating a vehicle.”

So far no charges have been filed.