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Camdenton teen dies in collision on US 54 at Route 179

Jefferson City Police officers work the scene of a fatal crash on westbound U.S. 54 at the Missouri 179 overpass late Wednesday night.

Jefferson City Police officers work the scene of a fatal crash on westbound U.S. 54 at the Missouri 179 overpass late Wednesday night. Photo by Kris Wilson.

UPDATE:

A Mid-Missouri teenager died Wednesday night when two vehicles collided in southern Jefferson City.

Police identified the fatality as Chelsea D. Fredrickson, 19, of Camdenton. She was driving a 2003 Saturn Ion westbound in the westbound lanes of U.S. 54 at Route 179 when a Ford Ranger pickup headed the opposite direction smashed into her car head on. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the 9:57 p.m. crash.

Police report Dennis G. Leporin, 29, of Columbia, was driving the pickup the wrong way, eastbound in the westbound lanes of the divided highway. He was taken to a local hospital with moderate injuries.

A passenger in the front seat of the Saturn - Jasper J. Richmond - was flown by air ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia with serious injuries. Police did not report an age or hometown for Richmond.

Police suspect alcohol was a contributing circumstance to the crash. Officers diverted traffic onto Missouri 179 for around three hours while they processed the crash scene.

Earlier coverage:

One person died Wednesday night when two vehicles collided in southern Jefferson City.

The driver of a pickup truck was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of U.S. 54 at Route 179 just before 10 p.m. when it struck a car head on, killing the car's driver.

One person was transported by air ambulance to an area hospital with undisclosed injuries.

Identities of those involved were not immediately released pending additional investigation and notification of relatives by Jefferson City police.

Update, posted at 10:56 p.m.:

Westbound U.S. 54 traffic is being allowed to move past the accident area once again. It's being rerouted off the highway via the 179 exit and entrance ramps.

Update, posted at 10:32 p.m.:

A helicopter ambulance has been called to land at the scene of the wreck to transport an injured crash victim. Westbound U.S. 54 traffic is being halted to accommodate the landing.

Posted at 10:14 p.m.:

Emergency personnel responded around 10 p.m. to reports of a traffic accident along the westbound lanes of U.S. 54 at Route 179 south of Jefferson City.

The wreck occurred after police already had started to look for a wrong-way driver who was reported to be traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes.

Police were rerouting traffic approaching the area off the highway onto the 179 exit ramp.

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