Thursday crash kills Versailles truck driver

A tractor trailer and a smaller diesel truck were involved in a crash on U.S. 50/63 East, Thursday afternoon. Traffic was taken down to one lane as emergency personnel responded to the accident.

A tractor trailer and a smaller diesel truck were involved in a crash on U.S. 50/63 East, Thursday afternoon. Traffic was taken down to one lane as emergency personnel responded to the accident. Photo by Julie Smith.

Updates earlier versions

A Versailles man driving a tractor-trailer transporting grain was killed Thursday afternoon in a crash near the Missouri Highway Patrol General Headquarters in Jefferson City.

Police said Alan J. Spaulding, 51, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 2:31 p.m. wreck.

He was driving the tractor-trailer eastbound when a dump truck driven by Stephen P. Berhorst, 37, of Westphalia, crossed the center line of the eastbound lanes of U.S. 50/63 and struck the passenger side of the tractor-trailer.

The tractor-trailer lost control, drove through a guard rail, went down an embankment, crossed Elm Street and crashed into the bluff in front of the headquarters property.

The dump truck spun around, went off the road and down an embankment, turning onto its side before coming to rest against some trees.

Police reported Berhurst received serious injuries. He refused treatment at the scene but was taken by personal vehicle to St. Mary’s Health Center. He later was transported to University Hospital, Columbia.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts, police said.

The Cole County Hazmat team responded to clean up diesel fuel from the tractor trailer that had leaked into a nearby creek. East Elm Street and Vetter Lane remained closed in the area of the crash on Thursday night.

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