Police investigate after car runs off bridge, catches fire in River Des Peres

Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 7:38 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - St. Louis police are investigating a South City crash where one vehicle ended in the River Des Peres engulfed in flames.

Monday, a spokesperson for SLMPD says they do not yet have a completed report from the incident, which happened on Sunday, night, but preliminary reports say two vehicles were involved. One of them flipped over the Morgan Ford bridge just off Carondelet Boulevard and caught fire. The extent of the injuries in the incident is still unknown, but police say the caller who reported the incident said there was at least one person trapped inside the car that fell onto the River Des Peres.

Ron Schilds, who witnessed the crash, tells News 4 he was driving in the area at around 9 p.m. on Sunday when he saw what looked like a Ford F-150 truck traveling 80 mph towards the intersection. The light had turned yellow, and another car was making a left turn off the bridge.

“The next thing I know, he hit the car and went over the bridge. And I parked and went down there and helped him,” said Schilds. “The car was semi on fire at the time, and we pulled him out. His leg was the only thing that was hurting at the time, But I know he had more problems. "

News 4 spoke with a resident who was leaving his shift at the Dollar Tree across the street from where the incident happened.

“And I was just grabbing my stuff, ready to walk out the door,” said Tony Wade. “While I was picking my stuff up, there was a loud bang. And very quickly, outside there was a whole bunch of people. My mom was here. She ended up getting out of the car to look and see what happened. It was really dark. Unfortunately, there was only one light here in the parking lot of the store, so you can’t really see too much over around the bridge.”

Police data shows there have been 37 calls for accidents at the same bridge since January 2021. Yet, police say other areas with high traffic violations, like Gravois Avenue and River Des Peres, had twice as many calls for accidents in the same time frame.

Residents who live and drive near the Morgan Ford bridge told News 4 they still want to see changes made to further deter drivers from speeding in that intersection.

“I think maybe just giving the lights more time, so that way if somebody speeds through, they’re not going to hit someone else,” said Wade.

“Probably needs barriers here and there or something, better. I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you,” said Schilds. “They need to slow down. They just need to slow down.”

At this time, police do not have any specific or special traffic enforcement initiatives in this area, but they do say they have and continue to increase traffic enforcement measures in areas with increased accidents and traffic violations.

Sunday’s incident is still an ongoing investigation, and News 4 will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.