Bette Wittich, 78, of O'Fallon, MO died in an automobile crash on Hwy. D, near Benne Road, on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. Wittich was a passenger in a 2010 Chevy Malibu driven by Michael J. Wittich, 78, also of O'Fallon. The Missouri State Hwy. Patrol reported that a trailer, pulled by 2000 Western Star Day Cab (semi) truck driven by Clayton Straatmann, 27, of Villa Ridge, MO, crossed the center line.
The front of the Malibu struck the tandem axle of the trailer, then the Malibu ran off the right side of the roadway striking a ditch. Bette Wittich was transported to Mercy Hospital in St. Louis and was pronounced at 11:23 a.m. at the hospital. Michael Wittich suffered moderate injuries and taken by St. Charles County Ambulance to Mercy Hospital, St. Louis. The highway patrol report said the trailer was traveling too fast for the conditions. The roads were wet at the time.
New Melle Fire Chief Rick Massey said Hwy. D has been a problem ever since it was re-topped last spring with a fine gravel mixture. "The water does not sheet off like it should, and the road surface is really slick anytime it's wet. Even our firetruck, which was not going fast, slid a few feet as it was coming to a stop at the accident scene. The state really needs to do something with that road. And everyone who travels it needs to be extra cautious when driving in wet conditions."