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Ripley County, Missouri — May 18, 2011

Police say a Poplar Bluff man crashed his vehicle along U.S. Route 160 near Fairdealing on Wednesday, then fled the scene, leaving behind three injured passengers.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that 27-year-old Edward J. Nichols of Poplar Bluff was driving east on U.S. Route 160 in a 1999 Dodge Neon compact, shortly after 10 p.m. For unknown reasons, Mr. Nichols veered off the right-hand shoulder of the roadway and flipped when he hit a slope.

Mr. Nichols reportedly suffered minor injuries, but fled the scene. His 28-year-old passenger, Amy L. Irlas of Poplar Bluff, was seriously hurt while a 24-year-old passenger, Joe D. Irlas of Poplar Bluff, was moderately hurt. Paramedics transported both to Poplar Bluff Regional Hospital for treatment.

A third passenger, 26-year-old Holly A. Sitze of Harviell sustained minor injuries and also ran off.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that excessive speed was involved in 26,486 crashes in 2009.

If you would like an official copy of the police report, request a copy with this form.

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