Accident on 54 leaves two injured, one in serious condition

Two Fulton residents were left injured following a collision with a motor grader on US-54 Monday afternoon. Phillip M. Herbert and his wife, Sharon, sustained minor to severe injuries when he failed to notice a motor grader in the driving lane ahead of him while merging.

Two Fulton residents were left injured following a collision with a motor grader on US-54 Monday afternoon. Phillip M. Herbert and his wife, Sharon, sustained minor to severe injuries when he failed to notice a motor grader in the driving lane ahead of him while merging. Photo by Dean Asher.

Westbound traffic on US-54 was brought to a halt Monday afternoon when an accident involving a motor grader left a motorist and his passenger injured.

At around 2:14 p.m., a 2012 red Lincoln MKX driven by Phillip M. Herbert, 75, Fulton, was attempting to merge onto 54 from the Route F exit. When he could not get over in time, Herbert rear-ended a motor grader and was left with minor injuries. His wife, Sharon A. Herbert, 72, was left in an unknown serious condition that required transport by helicopter to University Hospital in Columbia.

The grader driver, Benjamin F. Wetherell, 78, escaped uninjured.

Fulton Police Department Maj. Roger Rice said Herbert did not notice the slow-moving grader in the driving lane ahead of him while he was focusing on merging.

“We’ve all done it; when you’re trying to merge into traffic and you’re trying to look over your shoulder to see what’s there, you don’t expect something to be slow-moving in your lane,” said Rice. “You expect it to be on the shoulder.”

FPD was assisted in the investigation by the Callaway County Sheriff’s Office, Fulton Fire Department and Callaway EMS officials.

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