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Seven people were transported to Mt. Vernon hospitals following a two car head on crash blamed on snowy road conditions Wednesday afternoon.  

Marion County Sheriff's Deputies say 66-year-old Wanda Cripps of South Maple in Salem was traveling southbound when she ran off the right side of the road, lost control in the snow and then crossed the centerline hitting a van driven by 39-year-old Michael Wood of West Allmon in Salem.  

Cripps was trapped in her car following the crash and had to be freed by Kell Firemen.  She was later transferred from a Mt. Vernon hospital by medical helicopter to St. Louis University Hospital because of the severity of her injuries.  

Firemen had to pop open the door on Wood's van, but sheriff's officials say no extrication was needed.  

In addition to the drivers all passengers in both vehicles were taken to Good Samaritan or Crossroads Hospitals in Mt. Vernon.  Two of the passengers were in the Cripps car, 16-year-old Cheyenne Groff of Sandoval and Tracy Slater.   Three passengers were in the Wood van, including his 36-year-old wife Leslie Wood, and daughters 12-year-old Brynnon Wood and 8-year-old Emma Wood all of Salem.

Route 37 was closed for about an hour until cleanup was completed.   

Area law enforcement agencies responded to several other accidents blamed on the snow, but none reportedly involved injuries. In most cases, vehicles just slid off the road.  

The storm dumped one and a half inches of snow on Salem and 2 inches on Centralia.  While major highways were cleared by Friday night, slick spots remained on untreated roads, bridges, and overpasses.  


Marion County Sheriff's Deputies say an investigation into a suspicious vehicle turned into discovery of a drug deal that had just gone down.   The incident occurred outside the Alma Ballfield Concession Stand on Route 37.  

Deputies arrested 18-year-old Zane Arnold of Baylis Road in Alma for manufacture or delivery of 10 to 30 grams of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia.   19-year-old Myles Yates of Pullen Drive in Alma was arrested for possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia.   Arnold remains in the Marion County Jail, while Yates posted $150 bond and was released.

Deputies say after approaching the car, which was running, they smelled a strong odor of cannabis.  A search of the vehicle that followed allegedly turned up pieces of cannabis and a scale inside the center console.  Yates turned over six grams of cannabis he had in his possession that he claims to have just purchased from Arnold.  


A 24-year-old Salem man escaped serious injury when his car ran off the Red Stripe Road a quarter mile west of the Selmaville Road southwest of Salem Wednesday afternoon.  

Marion County Sheriff's Deputies say Ryan Moghadam of East Boone ran off the road, hit a high line pole owned by Citation Oil, and came back onto the roadway where his vehicle came to a stop.  

Moghadam declined medical attention from emergency services personnel on the scene.  The crash occurred at 11:01 Wednesday morning.  


Jefferson Rural Firemen say the cab of a semi caught fire next to the Direct Freight terminal on Shilo Drive west of Mt. Vernon Wednesday morning.  

The fire destroyed the truck and spread to the small 12 by 16 foot terminal building.  It is also considered a total loss.  Firemen say the truck had just been worked on, but it is unclear what started the fire.  

An investigation is continuing.  There were no injuries. 

The fire was discovered around 9:30 Wednesday morning.   


A 42-year-old Wamac man is being held in the Marion County Jail for alleged misdemeanor theft.  Lee Wright of South James was arrested by Wamac Police on Wednesday.  

Two people remain in custody following Wednesday arrests on outstanding felony warrants.   46-year-old Anita Bailey of Jones Street in Mt. Vernon and 30-year-old Stephine Brown of East Rileyville Road in Dix were both arrested by Marion County Sheriff's Deputies.

A 45-year-old rural Odin man, Martin Hokel of Hoots Chapel Road, posted $150 bond after being arrested by Sandoval Police for driving on a suspended license.  




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