The winter storm that dumped about a foot of snow on St. Louis over the weekend blew out of Missouri and continued to snarl traffic and cause chaos elsewhere as it moved east across the country. According to news reports, at least nine people were killed and dozens more injured in motor vehicle crashes in which the storm was a factor.

The Washington Post reported that “Missouri took the brunt” of the storm, “logging more than 800 snow-related crashes that injured 57 and killed four, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.”

Among those who lost their lives were a 53-year-old woman and a 14-year-old who were killed when the woman lost control of her vehicle on a snow-blanketed rural Missouri road and went into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Illinois also saw a storm-related tragedy when a state trooper who was standing outside of his patrol car at the scene of a three-vehicle crash when a driver struck the officer. The five-year veteran of the Illinois State Police died later of his injuries at a hospital, the Post said.

Illinois State Police said an investigation of the fatal crash is underway. They also reported that officers had responded to more than 200 storm-related wrecks, including one other fatal crash.

In many cases, snow and ice make some accidents inevitable, but in far too many situations, the crashes were avoidable despite the winter weather. Too often, drivers go faster than conditions allow. They wind up losing control of their vehicles and needlessly causing vehicle damage, injuries and fatalities.

If you have been injured by a careless driver, contact a St. Louis attorney experienced in personal injury litigation.