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UPDATE: 81-year-old Columbia woman killed during flash flooding remembered as dedicated employee


Boone County Fire/Missouri Task Force One is based in Columbia (file photo courtesy of the Boone County Fire Protection District)

Boone County Sheriff’s deputies have identified the elderly Columbia woman whose vehicle was swept away by floodwaters Wednesday near the Perche creek as 81-year-old Iveta Thayer.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department’s Facebook post says the Ford Fusion occupied by an elderly couple was swept off the road by floodwater Wednesday afternoon near Gillespie Bridge road and South Coats. Rescuers, including landscapers working in the area, entered the floodwaters and were able to rescue the elderly man inside, according to deputies. Rescuers reached the vehicle and tried to open the door where the woman was seated, but deputies say they could not open the door. Deputies say the Fusion then became completely submerged by the floodwater.

Ms. Thayer’s body was recovered in the vehicle at about 10:30 on Friday morning.

Strong storms dumped heavy rain in mid-Missouri late Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service (NWS) in St. Louis issued flash flood warnings for five mid-Missouri counties: Audrain, Boone, Cooper, Howard and Montgomery counties. Some areas in Columbia and mid-Missouri received more than ten inches of rain in two days.

One 939 the Eagle listener praises Ms. Thayer, saying Thayer worked years ago for the city of Fulton in the accounting department. The listener says Ms. Thayer was a dedicated, hard-working employee. Ms. Thayer’s obituary in the “Columbia Missourian” says Ms. Thayer was born in Latvia and emigrated to the United States as a young child. Ms. Thayer moved to Missouri in 1968. The obituary says she “will be remembered for her love of Frank Sinatra, sense of humor and green thumb.”

The obituary says a private family ceremony will be held at a later date. Donations are being suggested to the Central Missouri Humane Society.

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