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Two Bad Wrecks Cause One Death, One Serious Injury Here Last Week

From Staff Reports

Two serious traffic accidents took place recently in Ste. Genevieve County in less than 48 hours.

Matthew E. Zerwig, 38, of Ste. Genevieve, was seriously injured in a two-vehicle accident at Route O and Highway 61 on Nov. 8.

At 4:02 p.m., he was driving southbound on 61, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol report, in a 2007 Ford Taurus.

A 2014 Freightliner dump truck driven by Quinton E. Scott, 61, of Farmington, was traveling in front of Zerwig’s vehicle, when the front of the Taurus struck the rear of the Freightliner and later burst into flames.

Zerwig was taken by Air Evac to Mercy Hospital St. Louis. It was not known whether he was wearing a seat belt.

Scott, who was wearing a safety device, was not injured.

Traffic on Highway 61 was blocked for some time.

Two days later, 21-year-old Billie R. Nickelson was killed in a two-vehicle accident at Route Z and St. Mary Church Road.

At 4:50 a.m., Nov. 10, Nickelson was eastbound on Route Z in a 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt. According to the patrol report, his vehicle crossed the center line, striking  a 2016 Mack 600 head-on, driven by Darrel R. Defreitas, 56 of Carbondale, Ill.

Nickelson was pronounced dead on the scene by Ste. Genevieve County Coroner Eric Basler. According to the report, he was not wearing a seat bel