Fatal Head-on Collision


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In Osage County, a driver is killed and five others are injured after a head-on collision.

On May 1, 2014 at approximately 5:41 a.m., Norman Mehrhoff, age 60 of Bland, Missouri was operating a 1987 Ford Ranger. Christine Burnett, age 50 of Bland, Missouri was operating a 2013 Kia Sportage along with passengers Christopher Burnett, age 32 of Bland, Missouri, Andrew Johnson, age 37 of Bland, Missouri, Rhonda Vaugh, age 54 of Belle, Missouri, and Charles Buddemeyer, age 31 of Belle, Missouri.

At that said date and time, Norman Mehrhoff was traveling in the southbound direction while Christine Burnett was traveling in the northbound direction on Missouri 89 and 2.6 miles south of Missouri Route D. The crash occurred as Norman’s vehicle crossed the center line and collided with Christine’s vehicle head-on.

Norman Mehrhoff was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash by Osage County Coroner, Lois Jaegers, and then transported to Sassman’s Funeral Home in Belle, Missouri. Charles Buddemeyer received serious injuries and was transported by ambulance to Phelps Regional Hospital. Rhonda Vaughn received serious injuries and was flown by Staff For Life to the University Hospital. Christine Burnett received moderate injuries and was transported by ambulance to Capital Regional Hospital. Andrew Johnson received moderate injuries and was transported by ambulance to St. Mary’s Hospital. Christopher Burnett sustained minor injuries where he received medical treatment at the scene and refused transport.

According to the crash report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, it is unknown whether or not Norman Mehrhoff, Charles Buddemeyer, and Andrew Johnson were wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision. However, Christine and Christopher Burnett were wearing their seat belt whereas Rhonda Vaughn was not wearing a seat belt at the time.

Norman’s 1987 Ford Ranger received total damages and was towed by Owens’ Towing. Christine’s 2014 Kia Sportage received extensive damages and was towed by Cook’s Towing.

This fatality crash was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and with the assistance of Troop F and the Osage County Sheriff’s Department. This is Troop F’s 1st fatality for the month of May and 16th fatality for 2014.