Louisville fire fighter, youth volleyball coach, two kids killed in crash outside St Louis in Missouri, US
Four Louisville residents, including a fire fighter, youth volleyball coach and two young girls, were killed in a three-vehicle accident on Friday morning, 14 February 2020, just outside of St Louis in Missouri, US. According to Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Dallas Thompson, a white pickup truck towing a generator lost control and crashed through the median cable barrier before slamming into a minivan occupied by the four Louisville residents. The minivan then hit an SUV. "Just looking at the damage of the vehicles you can tell it was a horrendous impact," Thompson said. "And the people in the minivan, you know, they probably didn't even have a chance to avoid the crash at the time." Thompson said all four occupants of the minivan were killed. The women were pronounced dead at the scene and the children later died at the hospital.
Carrie McCaw 44, Lesley Prather 40, Kacey McCaw 12 and Rhyan Prather 12, were killed in the accident around 10h38 local time on Interstate 64, according to a Missouri State Highway Portal crash report and Saint Raphael the Archangel Catholic School.
The 29-year-old driver of the pickup has serious injuries, according to a Missouri State Highway Patrol accident report. Highway Patrol does not believe weather played a role in the crash. The St Charles County prosecutor is awaiting toxicology reports form the driver who caused the accident.
Prather was a Louisville fire fighter, a union official confirmed. St Louis fire fighters were standing watch at the morgue on the night of the crash. "Leslie was just one of the best of us. The whole department is reeling," the union official said. "It's so hard but when somebody is gone everybody speaks so well of them but when you speak of Leslie with superlatives, you aren't over exaggerating."
Louisville Fire tweeted, “With heavy hearts and tremendous sorrow, we mourn the tragic deaths of Engine 22 fire fighter Lesley Prather, along with her daughter Rhyan and their friends Carrie McCaw and her daughter Kacey, daughter and granddaughter of retired LFD Major Dave Urton. Lesley joined the LFD family in October 2016, spending her entire career serving west Louisville. Lesley’s brother-in-law, Sash Petkovic, currently serves as a fire fighter with the division.
This is a terribly sad time for the Louisville Division of Fire and the entire community. Please keep these families and all whose lives have been touched by these four beautiful souls in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. The division expresses our deepest condolences to the Prather and McCaw families and friends. We are heartbroken.
Prather played volleyball for Pleasure Ridge Park High School and the University of Louisville and went on to coach at Indiana University Southeast. Both Prather and McCaw coached a 10-year old team at Kentucky Indiana Volleyball Association (KIVA).