Metro-East News

Driver crossed center line in fatal crash on new U.S. 50, police say

Scene of the crash Saturday on new U.S. 50 in Clinton County.
Scene of the crash Saturday on new U.S. 50 in Clinton County.

The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office said it’s nearly finished investigating a crash that left two drivers dead Saturday.

One driver was 19-year-old Marissa K. Flanigan, of Vernon, who was in a red 2003 Dodge car.

Sgt. Dan Travous said police believe Flanigan crossed the center line and struck a blue 2012 Mazda 3 head-on while traveling east on new U.S. 50. The driver of the Mazda was 62-year-old Randy L. Pulver, of Beckemeyer.

Flanigan was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese. Pulver died after being transferred from Breese to Saint Louis University Hospital.

Travous said Flanigan and a female passenger were on their way home from shopping in Fairview Heights when the crash happened about a mile east of Trenton.

The sheriff’s office said Flanigan’s passenger was looking down at her phone and glanced up to see that Flanigan’s car drifted into the westbound lane. Authorities said the passenger warned Flanigan once that her car was in the other lane, but she received no response. That’s when she yelled.

Travous said Flanigan jerked the steering wheel, making the car fishtail back and forth. Authorities ruled out winter weather conditions as the cause of the crash, but said the slick roads didn’t help as the car slid. The car went back into the eastbound lane, shot back into the westbound lane and hit Pulver’s Mazda head-on.

Pulver had left his home in Beckemeyer and was on his way to a party in St. Louis, the sheriff’s office said.

The passenger in Flanigan’s car had minor injuries, and was treated at St. Joseph’s in Breese.

Both Flanigan’s and Pulver’s vehicles had heavy front-end damage.

An orange Jeep behind Pulver was also damaged in the crash, but the driver was not reported injured.

Travous said authorities found no reason to believe alcohol or drugs were involved in the crash, but said the investigation was ongoing.

According to an obituary, a visitation will be held for Flanigan from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday and services will be 10 a.m. Thursday at Day Macz Funeral Home in Patoka.

For Pulver, a visitation is scheduled from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday and from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Friday at Nordike Funeral Home in Carlyle, according to his obituary. The funeral service is 11 a.m. Friday at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Beckemeyer.

Kaitlyn Schwers: 618-239-2526, @kaitlynschwers