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Wednesday afternoon crash claims life of Thayer resident


A Thayer resident died of injuries suffered when her vehicle struck a car and a semitruck at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday on south U.S. 63 in Howell County, 2 miles north of Brandsville, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Kathrine Welch, 32, was pronounced dead at 5:41 p.m. by Howell County Coroner Tim Cherry.

Tpr. T.D. Pond, Troop G of the patrol, Willow Springs, reported a 2019 Jeep Cherokee driven south by Welch crossed the center line and struck an oncoming 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis driven by Matthew Kirby, 46, of Saffell, Ark.

The Mercury reportedly then ran off the left side of the road, and the Jeep continued on in the northbound lane, hitting a 2018 Freightliner head-on that then ran of the right side of the road, according to the patrol. A statement released by the patrol to Ozark Radio News indicated the Freightliner was an empty cattle hauler.

The Jeep came to rest in the center of the road, Pond added.

Welch was wearing a seat belt, the report shows.

Her death is the 41st traffic fatality this year in the nine-county Troop G area, compared to 32 in the same time frame in 2022. The other two drivers, for whom no injuries were reported, were also wearing seat belts.

Pond was assisted at the scene by Cpls. M.T. Weakley and D.L. Nash, Tpr. C.C. Battreal and Crash Team Cpl. T.R.Wright.