WINTHROP, Missouri — A St. Joseph, Missouri, man with local ties died in a two-vehicle collision on Thursday just across the river.
Lonnie Elmore, 50, of St. Joseph, was killed in the crash near Winthrop that authorities suspect may have been caused by a combination of winter weather and road conditions.
Elmore was the passenger of a vehicle that slid into another vehicle occupied by four others. Elmore, who the Missouri State Highway Patrol said wasn’t wearing a safety device at the time of the crash, was pronounced dead at the scene. Elmore’s body was taken to Frontier Forensics of Kansas City, Kansas, to be examined.
“My brother in law ... he had called, like right after the crash, and he was like ‘there has been an accident,’” Elmore’s daughter, Ashley, said on Thursday evening. “And, my boyfriend was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ And he’s like, ‘No.’ And I was like, ‘Where’s my dad?’ Because I couldn’t hear him. And I just had a really bad feeling.”
Three others were injured in the crash, receiving minor to moderate injuries. One person was transported to Mosaic Life Care hospital in St. Joseph, while two others were transported to Atchison Hospital.
“Someone messaged me and said ‘Hey, are you guys OK? There was a crash on 59 and someone’s dead,” Ashley Elmore, a resident of Atchison, said. “That’s how I found out my dad was dead.”
First responders worked on the southern side of U.S. Highway 59 near the wreck that took place around Noon, according to the Highway Patrol.
It was unclear exactly how the accident happened, and the Highway Patrol didn’t release information on scene until Elmore’s next of kin was contacted.
“At this point, we believe they were going opposite directions, one was eastbound, one was westbound,” said Cpl. Rob Dudeck. “They did not hit head-on; one vehicle hit the side of the other vehicle.”
The Highway Patrol said it expected to be on scene investigating in Winthrop for most of Thursday, and that traffic would be directed to proceed slowly past the crash site until it is completely cleared.
In the meantime, Ashley Elmore has set up a GoFundMe to help raise money for her father’s funeral expenses.
He had recently lost his job, she said, because of medical complications, and died without life insurance; area funeral homes estimate costs will range between $5,000 and $10,000, she said. The GoFundMe, available via https://tinyurl.com/elmorefund, had raised $250 of a $10,000 goal by 10 p.m. Thursday.
“... He left behind his six children ... We all have children and are in no way able to pay for the funeral costs,” Ashley Elmore said in a post to the GoFundMe. “We are so very devastated at this time. Anything will help. Thanks everyone for your prayers.”
The Buchanan County (Missouri) Sheriff’s Office, Atchison County EMS, the Atchison County Department of Emergency Management and the South Central Buchanan County Fire Department assisted at the scene.
St. Joseph News-Press reporter Jessika Eidson contributed to this story.