Ameren truck smashes into Hillsboro apartment building; one person dead

HILLSBORO, Mo. - One person died Thursday afternoon after an Ameren utility vehicle crashed into an apartment building along Highway 21.

Three vehicles were involved in the accident, which occurred around 4:30 p.m. near the McKenzie Ridge Mobile Home Park.

According to a spokesperson for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Ameren vehicle was traveling northbound when a car traveling southbound crossed the center line and struck the utility truck. The Ameren vehicle went off the roadway and smashed into a nearby building.

State Trooper Dallas Thompson said authorities were following the southbound car for a report of careless driving. However, the driver swerved into oncoming traffic before law enforcement could reach him.

The driver of the passenger vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.

There were two Ameren employees inside the utility vehicle at the time of the accident. They were not injured.

The Ameren truck crashed into someone's living room while that person was asleep in the upstairs part of the unit. Fortunately, none of the residents were injured.

Trooper Thompson said the driver of the third vehicle was also uninjured.

State police closed Highway 21 south of Hillsboro while they investigated the accident. The highway was reopened to traffic Thursday evening.

The residents of the apartment complex were told to find somewhere else to stay for the time being as crews worked to remove the utility truck from the building.

After the Ameren vehicle was pulled from the building facade, the Jefferson County Building Commission, Hillsboro Fire Commission, and Hillsboro Fire Department marked the apartment complex as unsafe for occupancy. Electricity and water were disconnected due to damage to the pipes and electrical systems.

The assistant fire chief said the owners of the apartment complex were working on options for the displaced residents. The building commission and fire authorities planned to meet Friday morning with the building and possibly the insurance adjusters to determine the next course of action.

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