NEVADA, Mo. (AP) -- A tractor-trailer that swerved to avoid a car plowed into a southwest Missouri diner, killing one man and seriously injuring two others.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said 54-year-old Joseph Cole was killed when the semi barreled into the Quick Dine Restaurant in his hometown of Nevada late Friday afternoon.
Fellow diner John Becker, 72, of Nevada, was listed in critical condition Saturday night, while Roger Berning, 60, of El Dorado Springs, was in good condition. A fourth person, Pamela Hoover, 47, of Nevada, was taken by ambulance to a local hospital with moderate injuries.
The Highway Patrol said a car driven by Patrick Crews, 25, of Nevada, pulled away from a stop sign and into the path of a semitrailer that was southbound on U.S. 71. The truck, driven by Daniel Coffman, 60, of Nevada, tried unsuccessfully to avoid hitting Crews' car, then slammed into the restaurant and struck several customers.
Cole, a frequent diner at the restaurant, was pronounced dead at the scene.
His son, Joseph Cole, told KCTV-TV that his father went to the diner for coffee nearly every day and always sat in the same booth.
"I just knew it. I knew where he sits in the diner and the truck was right through there," said Travis Cole, a Nevada police officer who was off duty at the time of the crash. "I had someone call and ask if I was working the accident up there. I wasn't, but as I saw the scene and the truck, I knew right away. My dad was always there," he said.
Cole told the TV station he has seen his share of bad accidents, but that experience didn't prepare him for a crash like the one that killed his father.
"It doesn't seem real. It hasn't kicked in yet. I'm sure it will once everything settles down."
The Highway Patrol said neither driver of the two vehicles was injured.