UPDATE: St. Louis Woman Killed by Falling Concrete was Former Police Chief’s Wife
ST. LOUIS, MO. – July 25, 2018 (kmox.radio.com) According to an online news report from kmox.radio.com, the woman who died July 23 in St. Louis, Missouri, when her vehicle was struck by falling concrete was the wife of a former St. Louis Police Chief.*
On July 23, a 22-year-old woman was driving a white sedan on the Union Avenue bridge in St. Louis and lost control of her vehicle. According to officials, she jumped the curb, struck a traffic signal, then crashed into a concrete barrier and dislodged a 1-ton piece of concrete. The massive piece of concrete fell to the roadway below and struck a black Tesla sedan.
The woman driving the Tesla died instantly. She has now been identified as 58-year-old Janet-Torrisi Mokwa, wife of former St. Louis Police Chief Joe Mokwa. The condition of the woman driving the white sedan, who has still not been identified, is unknown.
In recent conferences with reporters, the office of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson has blamed the 22-year-old driver for Mokwa’s death, rather than some defect in the concrete barrier or bridge. The mayor’s director of operations, Todd Waelterman, said the driver knocked the traffic signal “down like a branch” then drove another 10 feet and moved a 2,500 pound piece of concrete three or four feet from the edge of the bridge. “[Y]ou can’t design for the oddities,” Waelterman said, “and that’s what we had here.”
When asked by a reporter if this oddity could happen again, Waelterman said, “Absolutely, if you get somebody driving at that speed, completely ignoring the traffic signals out there, regardless of the curbs, which we try to use to keep people on the pavement, absolutely. You can go down there right now and drive off the end of a bridge.”
Following the impact of the concrete on the Tesla, a white SUV rear-ended the Tesla. No injuries were reported to this driver. St. Louis Police are continuing to investigate the incident and have not yet released a final report.
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