Fireworks set off inside SUV causes major traffic jam in St. Louis

TOWN AND COUNTRY, MO (KTVI) – A single vehicle wreck on Interstate 270 that caused a massive traffic jam Wednesday morning was the result of fireworks being shot off inside the car.  And the driver is accused of being under the influence of prescription medication as well.

Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Al Notham says the 2008 GMC Acadia was northbound on 270 at Clayton Road when everything began to go wrong.

“We believe she left the roadway due to a distraction from fireworks being ignited inside the vehicle.”

The driver, Kara Koriath, 43, was seriously injured.  So were her two sons, Andrew Dreste, 16, and Matthew Dreste, 13.

Troopers still haven’t determined who set off the fireworks or why.

“Every year we get those calls of people shooting fireworks outside their vehicle.  They light them and throw the bottle rockets out.  I don’t know if that’s the situation here.  We don’t know yet if that’s exactly what was going on here.  We do know they were ignited in that vehicle,” Notham said.

And the fireworks weren’t the only distraction according to Notham.  He says Koriath, who is still hospitalized, is also under arrest for DWI.  He says she was under the influence of prescription drugs when the wreck happened.

Traffic in the aftermath of the wreck, which happened at 6:10 AM on Wednesday, led to traffic being backed up for more than seven miles during the morning rush hour.

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