Two men died as a result of injuries suffered in a two-vehicle crash at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday on U.S. 160, a mile east of South Fork in Howell County, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Cpl. J.D. Wheeler with Troop G of the patrol, Willow Springs, reported Harley W. Collins, 19, of Dora, and Billy R. Farris, 47, of Caulfield, were both pronounced dead at 6:15 a.m. by Howell County Coroner Tim Cherry at the scene.
Wheeler reported that Collins was eastbound in a 2003 Chevrolet 1500 truck when it crossed the center line and struck a westbound 2018 Dodge Journey driven by Farris and impacted head-on.
According to Public Information Officer Sgt. Jeff Kinder with Troop G, the crash closed traffic Tuesday morning on U.S. 160 near South Fork until after 9 a.m., causing delays for commuters traveling to school and work as troopers rerouted travelers onto county roads for detours.
At one point, westbound traffic was reportedly backed up to just outside of West Plains, about an 8-mile distance.
Cpl. Wheeler was assisted at the scene by troopers C.A. Kimes and T.D. Pond, and Lt. H.D. Hicks with the patrol, the Missouri Department of Transportation, Howell Rural Fire Department and first responders, South Howell County Ambulance and the Howell County Sheriff’s Department.
Collins and Farris’ deaths mark the first and second traffic fatalities for the nine-county Troop G area in 2020, compared to none in the same time frame last year.
Update: This story was updated with crash details at 12:14 p.m. Tuesday. A second update was made at 1:59 p.m. to correct the spelling of the last name of one of the deceased.