Corporal Dennis Engelhard, a 10 year veteran of the Missouri Highway Patrol, was killed while responding to an accident on Christmas morning.
According to the highway patrol, Cpl Engelhard stopped to assist Eureka Police with a minor accident in the west-bound lanes of I-44 (just east of Highway 109). The corporal was on the scene about 40 minutes and was waiting for a tow truck to move the cars, when an SUV lost control and hit Corporal Engelhard as he walked to get something out of the back of his patrol car.
Snow was falling at the time and the roads were icy.
Rescuers rushed Cpl Engelhard to the hospital, where a doctor pronounced him dead at 11:20 a.m.
He is survived by his parents, who live in the Kansas City area.
Funeral arrangements were pending, but already Governor Jay Nixon offered words of condolence:
The name of the driver of the SUV was not released today, pending the completion of the investigations. Supervisors at the scene of the crash would not say whether they believed charges could be filed against the driver.
One the report is complete, it could be found here: www.mshp.dps.mo.gov/HP68/search.jsp
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Corporal Dennis Engelhard. Today, our state has lost one of its most dedicated law-enforcement officers, and Corporal Engelhard's family has lost a beloved son and brother. Our Highway Patrol troopers put their lives on the line each and every day to protect our families and keep our communities safe. Corporal Engelhard served the people of Missouri honorably, and he made the ultimate sacrifice in fulfilling his duty. I ask all Missourians to join me in remembering Corporal Engelhard and his family in their prayers throughout this holiday season.
The Missouri Highway Patrol also released a statement:
"The Missouri State Highway Patrol is saddened by the loss of one our troopers today," stated Colonel James F. Keathley, superintendent of the Patrol. "We have lost one of our own in a Christmas day traffic crash, and our thoughts and prayers go out to Dennis' family. As we make our way through this holiday season we should all keep Dennis' family in our thoughts and remember that traffic crashes can affect everyone's lives. So please drive with care and urge your loved ones to do the same."