Trucker’s Medical Emergency Reportedly Led to Crash Killing Five People
Garden City, MO – The family of a trucker who sadly died, along with four motorists in a crash earlier this week in Missouri, says the long-time truck driver experienced a medical emergency in the moments before the fatal incident.
According to a report from local outlet Fox4, the family of trucker Everett E. Ashley, 59, of Lowry City, MO has been informed a preliminary examination indicates Ashley suffered a heart attack likely precipitating the crash.
“My dad was a professional driver for 35 years,” Erika Ashley told Fox4. “He’s the safest driver I know. So like for you to tell me he died in a fatal wreck, that’s not believable.”
The deadly accident occurred at approximately 11:15 a.m. when Ashley, operating a 2000 Peterbilt, was southbound on State Route F.
According to investigators, Ashley lost control of the rig before traveling down an embankment and crossing into the northbound entrance ramp to MO-7.
The tractor-trailer then collided with a 2015 Nissan SUV driven by Stephen Bennett, 61, of Junction City, KS.
Ashley was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bennett, along with three other passengers in the SUV, Gerald Dittman, 68, Jean Pariseau, 71, and Dakota Engel, 29, also perished in the crash.
“He loved driving,” Erika wrote in a Facebook fundraiser. “His passion, who knew, would become the way he went.”
Further, Erika said her dad did not have health insurance and the family is asking for donations to help cover the cost of cremation services.
The crash remains under investigation.