Crawford County teen dies in pickup truck roll-over crash early Sunday on Oak Hill Road

By: 
Dave Marner
Managing Editor

A 14-year-old Crawford County boy died early Sunday at the scene of a roll-over pickup truck crash where he was the driver.

Three teenage passengers, including his brother, were seriously injured and flown by separate helicopter ambulances to Children’s Hospital in St. Louis for treatment.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s report of the crash reported at 12:35 a.m. Aug. 25, Lane Bridgeman was driving a family member’s 2004 Dodge Ram pickup with his brother, Luke, and Drew Thomas, 15, of Steelville, and Devon Watring, 12, of Cuba, as his passengers. The youth was driving south on Oak Hill Road, five miles north of Cuba, when the truck began skidding and went off the left side of the road. The truck overturned and struck a tree, according to the report from Trooper Josh L. Dunmire.

All four of the boys were wearing seat belts, according to the MSHP report.

Lane Bridgeman was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:22 a.m. by Crawford County  Coroner Darren Dake, according to the MSHP report. 

Watring was discharged from the hospital, according to Laura High, a hospital spokeswoman, on Tuesday. 

The condition of the other two boys was not available. The hospital spokeswoman said they were “no longer listed in the directory” which could mean either they were discharged or their parents had chosen to withhold information about their condition.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Mike Mitchell said there was no indication of any criminal activity.

“As far as we know, they were just out for some night-time (summer) activity. Nothing criminal,” said Mitchel, adding the boys were going gigging for frogs a short distance from the Bridgeman family’s home. 

Mitchell said the Bridgeman boys — who also have a sister as triplets — are from a “good family.”

“They’re just good, friendly folks,” said Mitchell. “They’re good boys the community knows.” 

They attended school in Cuba.

AirEvac, ARCH, and Phelps Air all transported patients to Children’s Hospital. Crawford County sheriff’s deputies, and three additional MSHP personnel including a lieutenant and two corporals from Troop I assisted in the investigation. North Crawford County ambulance personnel were assisted by volunteer firemen from the Cuba and Bourbon fire departments.

The Cuba Free Press is reporting the Crawford County R-2 School District would have additional counselors on staff this week in all three buildings to provide assistance for students dealing with their grief. A prayer vigil open to all was held outside the high school on Monday before classes began.