Missouri state troopers say an ambulance and the Boone County Fire Protection District assistant chief’s vehicles had their emergency lights activated, when they were struck by a tractor trailer early Wednesday morning on I-70 near Columbia.
The horrific collision happened at the 135 mile marker, just east of Columbia. The crash killed Boone County Fire Protection District assistant chief Bryant Gladney, a 25-year-plus district employee.
The Patrol’s crash report says the truck driver, a 64-year-old Kansas City man, failed to slow. The crash happened at about 4:45 a.m.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol in Jefferson City tells 939 the Eagle that the major crash team’s investigation continues this morning, adding that it takes time to process all of the evidence.
Boone County Fire Protection District Chief Scott Olsen and assistant chief Gale Blomenkamp briefed reporters on Wednesday morning. Blomenkamp says Gladney was working a prior crash along I-70 at the 135 mile marker, when a westbound tractor trailer struck his vehicle at a high rate of speed.
“I will tell you high rate of speed meaning highway speeds. So it (the tractor tractor) was not slowing down of the accident, and struck him at that highway speed,” Blomenkamp says.
No other first responders were injured in the crash. Westbound I-70 at the 135 mile marker was closed for more than six hours, after the crash. State troopers used drones to reconstruct the collision.
Gladney’s death is the district’s first-ever line of duty death, according to Blomenkamp.
Blomenkamp says Gladney was an original member of Missouri Task Force 1, and was deployed to New York City after 9-11. Gladney was also deployed to the Carolina, after Hurricane Isabel in 2003.