ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR) - Two people are dead and the main entrance to the River City Casino area was closed for hours after a violent early morning crash at the intersection of South Broadway and River City Casino Blvd.
It happened about 3:30am. Investigators say an SUV was leaving the casino as a tractor-trailer, loaded down with beer, came barreling down Broadway. The two met in the intersection with tragic results.
" A beverage delivery truck going south on Broadway at a reported high rate of speed impacted a passenger vehicle," Lemay Fire District Assistant Chief Stephen Christeson said.
In fact it was a rate of speed so high that the collision jarred people from their beds well over a hundred yards up the street.
"It just sounded horrible! It sounded like an explosion almost," Jack Furman said of the crash. Then, more commotion. "All’s you heard were cops and the ambulance and the firetruck. Just immediately after it happened."
The drivers of both the truck and the SUV, were killed. The driver of the truck, has been identified as56-year-old Lawrence Coleman of Arnold, Missouri and the driver of the SUV, is 29-year-old Matthew Barton, of Cedar Hill, Missouri.
Hours later, as investigators continued to go through the wreckage, there were still significant unanswered questions. Did the speeding truck run the traffic light, or did the driver of the SUV, not giving the truck room to stop?
Also, were either of the drivers under the influence?
Investigators say these are all things they are still trying to determine. They also were having trouble identifying the driver of the truck.
The intersection of Broadway and River City Blvd. marks the only public entrance into the River City Casino. Traffic was shut down in all directions for more than nine hours.
The casino never closed, but dozens of cars were making u-turns near the crash site, not quite sure how to get to the casino property. Some were patrons, but even workers were having issues finding their way in.
The traffic problems became secondary, however, as drivers locked their eyes on the wreckage that marked the end of two lives.