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Wrong-way driver on I-44 died after crash with 3 vehicles

November 30, 2021 GMT

FENTON, Mo. (AP) — A man who was driving the wrong way on Interstate 44 in suburban St. Louis died after hitting a semitrailer, a concrete barrier and two other vehicles, authorities there said.

The crash happened Monday night near Fenton when Michael Branlett, 75, of Gray Summit, drove east in the westbound lanes of I-44, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

Branlett encountered a semitrailer on the interstate just before 10 p.m., according to investigators. The semi swerved to avoid Branlett, but Branlett’s SUV hit the front left corner of the tractor-trailer. The SUV then slammed into a concrete median, went back onto the highway and hit another semi and a car.

Branlett died at the scene. Two people in the car were treated at a hospital for minor injuries. The truck drivers were not injured.