Friday marks 1 year since deadly MoDOT work zone crash in South County

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 10:17 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Friday marks one year since a crash in a MoDOT work zone killed two employees and severely injured a third.

The crew was assigned to restripe Telegraph Road near Interstate 255 in South St. Louis County when a driver plowed into the work zone.

The crash killed 58-year-old James Brooks and 25-year-old Kaitlyn Anderson, who was six months pregnant with a baby boy she named Jaxx. Their co-worker Michael Brown survived; he now suffers lifelong injuries.

Anderson’s mother, Tonya Musskopf, describes her daughter as a selfless, giving and hardworking woman who made family her top priority.

“She had three miscarriages,” Musskopf says. “Jaxx was our rainbow baby. He was extremely healthy. I had everything bought for the baby shower. We had her maternity dress bought. We had her maternity photoshoot bought and she was ready to be a mama. She wanted him more than anything in life.”

A vigil on Friday night brought dozens of family members and friends to the intersection of the accident, remembering the lives that were taken.

“A lot of raw emotions,” Musskopf says. “Hurt. Pain. My grandson’s first thanksgiving. We should be preparing for it instead of a one-year candlelight vigil.”

Michael Brown tells News 4 this is the first time he’s gone to a service for the friends he lost one year ago in the crash.

“Eventually, all of those memories will come flooding back so that’s one of my biggest fears,” Brown says. “Actually remembering what happened that day, because right now I don’t.”

For Musskopf, there’s a bigger message she wants the community to take away from the vigil.

“People to slow down and move over so there’s no more families that have to do this during holidays,” Musskopf says. “To get MoDOT to have safer precautions and better training for their employees.”

Musskopf says her fight for justice will not end with this as she continues to look for answers and accountability.

“I lost my daughter and grandson,” Musskopf says. “While they’re at home with their families, I’m in the cold wishing I had mine.”