Victims identified in deadly crash on I-44 near Chestnut Expressway in Springfield

Published: Jul. 18, 2019 at 3:08 PM CDT
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The names of three victims of a deadly crash that occurred on I-44 near Chestnut Expressway have been released by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports three children died in the crash Thursday afternoon.

The victims have been identified as Olivia Dobos, 8, Angelina Dobos, 7, and Julia Dobos, 6, all of Clever, Mo. Next of kin has been notified.

Six others were injured in the crash, all members of the Dobos family. Those six sustained minor to moderate injuries, and were taken to Cox South Hospital in Springfield, Mo., for treatment.

Officers responded to the crash around 2:30 p.m.

The report states that a semi had been parked on the shoulder of the interstate, and had attempted to merge back into traffic. The passenger van carrying the children was merging onto the interstate.

The report says that the semi-truck moved into the path of the passenger van, prompting the driver of the van, Claudia Dobos, 35, of Clever, to swerve to avoid a collision.

The van ran off of the roadway and struck a cable barrier. Three children were ejected from the van. They were pronounced deceased at the scene. All in the vehicle were wearing safety devices.

I-44 was shut down as first responders treated those involved, and has since been re-opened.

"Tragic, just tragic," Larry Hurrell said. He saw the aftermath unfold from his front yard. "It was just really hard to handle at the time."

"I wasn't sure what happened at first because there was so much debris from the side of the van," Hurrell continued. "It just started as a slow trickle, you get the first ambulance, you get the first fire department and within minutes EMS was on the spot, fire department was here."

Trying to save the three young lives.

"There was CPR going," added Hurrell. "There was a lot of silence, you could tell everyone was paying attention to what they were doing, doing the best that they could do."

But then things turned from bad to worse.

"You could tell that they weren't going to make it. So they were basically covering the bodies," he explained. "I would hate to be in one of their places trying to save that child's life."

And a wave of sadness spread throughout the scene.

"When things started going wrong, and they went really wrong, you could tell that the emotions were overflowing, even with the people standing around. It was quite a moment." Hurrell added.