Explainer: Missouri Helmet Law; 3 Joplin-area men killed in separate holiday weekend motorcycle crashes,

JOPLIN, Mo. — The southwest Missouri July 4 weekend proved deadly for three Joplin-area men who were killed in separate and unrelated motorcycle crashes. One thing in common, all three were not wearing helmets.

Missouri repealed the helmet law in 2020 however it does not mean everyone is exempt from wearing a helmet.

JASPER MAN KILLED
Saturday evening in Barton County, Wayne Sprenkle, 57, died while operating a 1998 Harley Davidson Ultra Glide traveling southbound on I-49, two miles south of Sheldon, Mo. He swerved to miss an item in the roadway and crashed.

DIAMOND MAN KILLED
Saturday night in Newton County, Brian Bradley, 51, of Diamond, Mo. was killed as a result of a crash on Elder Road, 4.5 miles west of Diamond. Operating a side-by-side motorcycle he left the roadway, overcorrected and overturned.

WYANDOTTE  MAN KILLED
Monday morning in Seneca, Bruce Dodge, 60, of Wyandotte, Okla. was operating a 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle which struck the rear of a pickup truck on MO-43. He died on scene.

MISSOURI HELMET LAW

As of August 28, 2020: MISSOURI REVISOR OF STATUTES; 302.026.  Motorcycle operators twenty-six years of age or older, no protective headgear required, when — proof of insurance coverage required. — 

  1. Any qualified motorcycle operator who is twenty-six years of age or older may operate a motorcycle or motortricycle upon any highway of this state without wearing protective headgear if he or she in addition to maintaining proof of financial responsibility in accordance with chapter 303, is covered by a health insurance policy or other form of insurance which will provide the person with medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of an accident while operating or riding on a motorcycle or motortricycle.

  2.  Proof of coverage required by subsection 1 of this section shall be provided, upon request by authorized law enforcement, by showing a copy of the qualified operator’s insurance card.

  3.  No person shall be stopped, inspected, or detained solely to determine compliance with this section. CROSS REFERENCE: Motorcycle operators with instruction permit, protective headgear required, 302.020

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Motorcyclist killed in Seneca, Mo., crashed into rear of pickup; Third Joplin-area motorcycle fatality of July 4 weekend

SENECA, Mo. — Just before 10 a.m. Monday a crash occurred in the northbound lane of MO-43 near Avalon Road on the north side of Seneca.

Police Chief James Altic tells us it was a fatal motorcycle crash. He said they requested assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol to process the crash scene.

Bruce Dodge, 60, of Wyandotte, Okla. was operating a 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle which struck the rear of a pickup truck.  The motorcycle was totaled and removed by Doug’s Wrecker.

The pickup, 2020 GMC Sierra, driven by Richard Allen, 61, of Pittsfield, Ill.  The pickup was able to be driven from the scene, not requiring a tow truck.

Both vehicles were traveling northbound on MO-43.

Seneca fire Seneca District working a accident on Highway 43 North of Seneca please avoid the area both lanes are closed.” — SENECA FIRE & RESCUE FB

Traffic was shut down, north and south for about an hour and a half as troopers investigated. MoDOT Emergency Response, Newton County Sheriff’s Deputies and Seneca Fire assisted.

Crash occurred as [Harley Davidson] struck the rear of [GMC pickup].” – Cpl C Clark of Troop D

Newton County Deputy Coroner Jerry Deems claimed the body and transported to the Coroner’s office.

Dodge was not wearing a safety device.

This is the third motorcycle fatality in the Joplin-area over this Fourth of July Holiday thus far.  All three were not wearing helmets.

> RELATED >> TWO LOCAL MEN KILLED IN SEPARATE MOTORCYCLE CRASHES SATURDAY NIGHT

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MISSOURI STATE LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE HELMETS FOR ALL

As of August 28, 2020: MISSOURI REVISOR OF STATUTES; 302.026.  Motorcycle operators twenty-six years of age or older, no protective headgear required, when — proof of insurance coverage required. — 1.  Any qualified motorcycle operator who is twenty-six years of age or older may operate a motorcycle or motortricycle upon any highway of this state without wearing protective headgear if he or she in addition to maintaining proof of financial responsibility in accordance with chapter 303, is covered by a health insurance policy or other form of insurance which will provide the person with medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of an accident while operating or riding on a motorcycle or motortricycle.

  2.  Proof of coverage required by subsection 1 of this section shall be provided, upon request by authorized law enforcement, by showing a copy of the qualified operator’s insurance card.

  3.  No person shall be stopped, inspected, or detained solely to determine compliance with this section. CROSS REFERENCE: Motorcycle operators with instruction permit, protective headgear required, 302.020

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Two Joplin-area men killed in separate, unrelated crashes

JOPLIN METRO AREA — Two separate and unrelated motorcycle crashes claimed the lives of two local men on Saturday according to reports from Missouri State Highway Patrol. One man was a longtime city of Carthage employee, the city released a statement Sunday morning.

BARTON COUNTY, Mo. — Trooper B O’Sullivan of Missouri State Highway Patrol reports a Jasper, Mo. man was killed in Barton County Saturday evening.

Wayne Sprenkle, 57, was operating a 1998 Harley Davidson Ultra Glide traveling southbound on I-49, two miles south of Sheldon, Mo.

LOCATION OF FATAL CRASH IN BARTON COUNTY, MO. 

“[Harley] swerved to avoid an item in the roadway. Lost control and overturned, ejecting [Sprenkle]. [Both] skidded across the center of roadway and came to rest in passing lane. [Sprenkle] was pronounced on scene.” — TPR O’SULLIVAN OF TROOP D

The report states Sprenkle was not wearing a helmet.

The fireworks finale in Jasper, Mo. on Saturday night was dedicated to Sprenkle. Jasper Police Dept state online, “The finale is dedicated to a very popular Jasper resident who lost his life earlier this evening in a motorcycle wreck, Wayne Sprenkle. Rest in peace sir.”

NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. — Trooper M. Coleman of Missouri State Highway Patrol reports Brian Bradley, 51, of Diamond, Mo. died as a result of a crash Saturday night at 9:06 p.m. on Elder Road, 4.5 miles west of Diamond.

Bradley was operating a 2021 CF Moto Z950.

“[Z950] travelled off the right side of the roadway, overcorrected and overturned. [Bradley] was pronounced by Newton County Deputy Coroner Brian Artherton.” — TPR COLEMAN OF TROOP D

The report states Bradley was not wearing a helmet.

The city of Carthage release a statement Sunday morning regarding Bradley’s death:

On July 2nd, 2022, the City of Carthage and Carthage Park Department experienced a grave loss when Brian Bradley died in an ATV accident. We understand the shock and tragedy of Brian’s sudden loss, and our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.
We will all miss Brian more than words can express. Brian had respect and admiration for all he touched. He was not just our co-worker but our good friend as well.
The Bradley family is arranging services. We will share details regarding services as they become available
.”

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LOCATION OF FATAL CRASH IN NEWTON COUNTY, MO.  

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Webb City man dies of injuries after motorcycle crash on North Rangeline

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Late Tuesday evening just before 10:30 p.m. reports of a serious car and motorcycle crash at Zora and North Rangeline alerted Webb City 911.

Webb City Fire, Webb City Police and METS ambulance responded emergency.

On the scene Sgt C. Shonk updated us the motorcycle driver was transported to an area hospital. Those in the vehicle refused medical treatment.

According to the investigation on Wednesday the sport bike was southbound and the passenger car was northbound, turning west onto Zora. They collided in the intersection.

Witnesses at the scene told officers that the motorcyce was traveling at a high rate speed prior to striking the front passenger side of the turning passenger car.” — CHIEF DON MELTON, WEBB CITY POLICE

Juan Gabria Gonzalez-Correa, 28, of Webb City, died later at a Joplin hospital. Next of kin have been notified.

The driver of the passenger car was a 22-year old white male from rural Webb City.

Webb City Police Department continue investigation of the crash.

Schrader’s Towing removed the crashed vehicles from the scene.

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