BREAKING: Wrong way driver on turnpike between Joplin and Miami: No survivors in final crash

Joplin News First

Early Sunday morning around 1:00 AM tipsters began messaging us from stopped traffic on I-44 eastbound, Miami to Joplin asking for information on what what was happening on the Oklahoma Will Rogers Turnpike.

OHP PRESS RELEASE UPDATE: Two dead, Christopher Bowen, 46, of Miami,OK was driving a 2002 Chevy Silverado and struck Waylon Humphrey, 32, of Rolla, MO in a head on crash.  The crash occurred in the eastbound lanes of I-44.  The offical cause of the crash is under investigation by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.  

Joplin News First received information overnight, and witnessed part of the clean up of the final crash but have waited to release more information.


Around 12:30 AM Sunday a wrong way driver is believed to have entered the Will Rogers Turnpike in Missouri at Downstream Blvd. That driver was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes. Two crash scenes occurred.

323.8 MM eastbound – 1st crash scene two vehicles crashed and drivers suffer non-life threatening injuries. However the wrong way driver continues eastbound in the westbound lanes.

322 MM eastbound – 2nd crash scene is the final. The wrong way driver had traveled almost two more miles from the first. This was a head-on crash causing fire to consume most of the two vehicles involved.  There were no survivors in this crash.  

This second crash blocked both lanes of traffic till after 4:00 AM (see Joplin News First video).


Shortly after 1:30 AM the Miami Police Department assisted the Oklahoma Highway Patrol in shutting down the interstate from further traffic entering at Miami traveling east.

Ottawa County Sherrif’s Deputies, Miami Police Department, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, GRDA and Quapaw Fire & Rescue assisted.

The official report will come from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol we were told by all other agencies.

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