Driver faces municipal charges in early-morning roll-over crash in town

Dave Marner

An Owensville man was seriously injured early Saturday morning when the car he was driving struck a block retaining wall along Highway 28 and overturned.

His female passenger’s leg was pinned between the dashboard of the 2001 Chevrolet Lumina and the floorboard and needed extrication by Owensville Fire Department personnel. 

According to the report filed by Owensville Police patrolman Stephen J. Bryant, Martin R. Wockenfuss, 46, was driving west on Highway 28 when he crossed over the centerline, went off the road for 45 yards and struck the retaining wall below an office complex. Wockenfuss was located sitting outside of the car when Bryant arrived two minutes after the emergency call was  made at 5:48 a.m. April 7. Wockenfuss was doubled over on the ground, bleeding from the mouth, and yelling “it hurt,” according to the report.

Inside the car, Marilyn J. Booher, 60, was trapped but told Bryant that Wockenfuss was driving his car but that she was unclear what had happened. “Wockenfuss was communicating but (it) was unclear on what was being said,” the report noted.

Neither were wearing seat belts, the report noted. Both Wockenfuss and Booher were initially transported by Owensville Area Ambulance District personnel for treatment at Mercy Hospital Washington. Both were listed in “satisfactory” condition and remained hospitalized at Mercy Hospital St. Louis as of late Tuesday afternoon.

Inside the car police located several cans of “air dusters,” along with a homemade pipe with suspected “burnt marijuana in it” and a needle that appeared to be empty but which field tested positive for heroin. 

Owensville Police Sgt. Scott Griffith said Bryant issued Wockenfuss three Municipal Court summonses alleging careless and imprudent driving resulting in an accident, possession of illegal drug paraphernalia and failure to provide proof insurance. Additional charges may be pending, Griffith said.