Cole County Crash Leaves One Person Dead and Two Seriously Injured

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Head-on crash occurring on US Highway 54 ends in fatality for one and serious injury for two.

On November 20, 2011 at approximately 2:33 a.m., 56 year old Larry Huston of Eldon, Missouri was operating a 2004 Ford E250 van, traveling westbound on US 54, about .5 of a mile west of Route D. Huston had no passengers in his vehicle. At that said time and place, 29 year old Marta Vaca of Kingdom City, Missouri was operating a 1995 Dodge Ram.

Vaca and her passenger, 29 year old Jerry Friend of Fulton, Missouri, were traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of US 54. Vaca drove her vehicle directly into Huston, head-on.

Larry Huston was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash by Cole County Coroner Carl Doerhoff at 4:00 a.m., and was taken to Freeman Mortuary in Jefferson City. Passenger Jerry Friend was taken from the scene to Capital Region Hospital in Jefferson City, Missouri for treatment of serious injuries he sustained in the crash. The at-fault driver, Marta Vaca, was taken from the scene of the crash to University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri with serious injuries. The at-fault driver was the only individual involved who was wearing their safety device.

Both vehicles received total damage in the crash and were towed from the scene by Tow Pro in Holts Summit, Missouri. It is unknown whether either driver possessed insurance coverage at the time of the crash.

This crash was investigated by Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop F, Cole County Sheriff’s Office and Jefferson City Police Department. This is Troop F’s 54th fatality for the year of 2011.


The A.W. Smith Law Firm in Columbia handles auto crash and wrongful death cases all over the State of Missouri. If you have questions about how to choose a law firm that is equipped to handle your auto crash or wrongful death case, please contact us today at 573-443-7300 or visit our website at The A.W. Smith Law Firm has recovered millions in settlements and verdicts in serious injury and wrongful death cases.