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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Van Buren woman killed in deadly crash last week on I49 in Vernon County, Missouri

The Missouri Highway Patrol has released a report on a deadly, multiple-vehicle accident in Vernon County last week that claimed the life of a 76-year-old Van Buren woman.

According to the MHP official report on the accident that occurred on July 5 on Interstate 49 approximately three miles from Nevada. Naomi S. Bealer was driving a 2017 Nissan Altima southbound on the interstate when she crossed the center median and struck a 2020 Hyundai Tucson driven by 25-year-old Maria Campos of Houston, Texas.

Sixty-seven-year-old Stephen L. Schafer, of Lees Summit, Missouri tried an evasive maneuver to avoid the crash, but the 2019 Honda Pilot he was driving struck the Bealer vehicle on the passenger side before bursting into flames.

The impact knocked the Nissan back into the center median where it came to rest.

Bealer was pronounced dead at the scene by the Vernon County C0roner's Office, and Schafer and his wife, sixty-four-year-old Brenda Schafer were both life-flighted to St, Luke Hospital in Kansas City with what was termed "serious" injuries.

The release of the accident report was delayed a few days because of the investigation and in order to be able to notify the next of kin. According to the MHP, the wreck occurred at 1:5 on July 5.

The accident was the 53rd fatality of the year in Troop D's coverage area, which covers the southeast corner of the state.

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