Witness dealing with survivor’s guilt after a wrong-way crash killed 3 in Springfield

Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 9:40 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A deadly wrong-way crash on James River Freeway in Springfield early morning on Jan. 20 killed three people and injured many more. A driver who called 911 about the wrong-way driver, Lamech Alexander, was almost in the middle of the crash.

It started when someone called 911 by National. The witnesses saw a driver going the wrong way on James River Freeway. Steven Jordan, 65, of Republic, Mo., crashed at James River Freeway and West Bypass at 1 a.m., hitting an SUV full of passengers.

Lamech said he was seconds away from being hit until Jordan swerved out of the way at the last second and crashed head-on with the other car.

”I almost, I guess you can call it survivor’s guilt. I almost kind of wish he just stayed in my lane,” said Alexander. “So we’re talking about one person, critically injured or killed instead of an SUV full of eight people.”

Alexander said he was taking a joyride early Friday morning.

“There were headlights on the highway,” said Alexander. “I remember thinking to myself, that weird, that’s a car is being towed, they have the headlights on.”

Seconds later, he said he realized a driver was coming at him.

“They swerved last second and ran head on into the SUV,” said Alexander. “They hit their brakes. I didn’t hear any honking, really.”

Police said Jordan may have been drunk. Jordan hit a family from Texas, traveling to St. Robert for a funeral of a woman killed in a crash days earlier. Three of them died. Others suffered serious injuries. Alexander said he immediately called 911.

Police arrived quickly, and he saw the aftermath.

“Pulling bodies out of the SUV, it’s something that won’t leave my memory, the actual crash itself and the noise it made,” said Alexander. “I almost wish it was me instead.”

Friday’s crash wasn’t the first wrong-way one this year. Another one on I-44 in early January hurt six people.

Alexander said after this, he has a different outlook on life.

“I want to appreciate what I have more and try to take things more seriously now because of it,” said Alexander. “That was just a slap in the face reminder that life is serious and it’s not always fun.”

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