Update: Highway Patrol investigating double fatal I-44 accident

FRANKLIN COUNTY, MO- Two people are dead and traffic along Interstate 44 was closed westbound following a fatal vehicle accident between a tractor trailer and a car Thursday afternoon.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol confirms the accident happened around 3:45pm east of St. Clair in Franklin County. Traffic was diverted at the Highway AH ramp while accident reconstruction crews worked the scene.

Late Thursday, authorities identified the victims as Kristine Bergmann, and Justin Giddens, both of Pacific. According to the Highway Patrol report, Bergmann was behind the wheel of a Ford Ranger with Giddens a passenger inside. Their vehicle went off the side of the road and struck an empty tractor trailer which was parked on the shoulder of the interstate.

Both were pronounced dead on the scene.