Brothers Aged 2, 4, and 7 Killed in Three-Vehicle Crash in Rural Missouri

December 27, 2017 Updated: December 27, 2017

Three young boys died in a car crash on a Missouri highway on Tuesday, Dec. 26, according to the Associated Press.

The mother of the three brothers was reported injured, as were five people in another SUV in the three-vehicle crash that took place on Missouri Highway 86, two miles east of Stark City in Newton County, according to The Joplin Globe.

The crash happened on MO-86, 2 miles east of Stark City, Missouri, around 6:40 p.m. (Screenshot via MapQuest)

Deputies from the Missouri State Highway Patrol told reporters the mother, Leticia Verde, 32, of Neosho, was driving her boys over a narrow highway bridge heading westbound, when her Chevrolet Traverse collided with an eastbound tractor-trailer, wrote Ozarks First.

The vehicle carrying the 3 boys hit a tractor-trailer at a narrowing of the road, crossed the center line and was broadsided by an SUV. (Screenshot via Google Maps)

The impact reportedly caused the SUV to cross the center line, at which point their vehicle was hit broadside by a Chevrolet Tahoe, after which the Traverse veered off the road and overturned.

Benjamin Verde, 4, Eric Verde, 7, and Isaac Verde, 2, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Globe.

Benjamin was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, Ozarks First reported.

Leticia Verde was transported by ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Joplin with moderate injuries.

Five occupants of the other SUV were also injured in the collision. Shawna Campbell, age undisclosed, was taken by medical helicopter to Mercy Hospital in Joplin with serious injuries, the patrol told the Globe.

Bentley Stephens and Darby Presley, ages undisclosed, and Harley Stephens, 15, were taken by ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Joplin, all with serious injuries. The driver, Michael Stephens, 38, was also taken the hospital by ambulance. He sustained moderate injuries, the Globe reported.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Stephen J. Shaffer, 53, of Sarcoxie, was reportedly not injured

The patrol said that weather was not a factor in the crash, AP reported.

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