Former owners of the Rose Restaurant and Catering Plus, L.C. and well-known patrons of the Vandalia area, William and Nancy Stafford, of Laddonia, died in a tragic two-vehicle collision in the afternoon hours of Sunday, January 6.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), the Staffords were traveling westbound on Highway 54 at Route U in a 1998 Ford Explorer when Ibrahim Bourakba, age 32, of Baton Rouge, La., was traveling eastbound in a 2010 Volvo Tractor Trailer, swerved to miss an “unknown” vehicle.
Bourakba then crossed the center lane into westbound traffic.
William Stafford, driver of the Ford Explorer, reportedly maneuvered to avoid a collision with Bourakba and traveled off the right side of the highway.
Unable to avoid a collision, the right front side of Bourkaba’s tractor struck the left front of the Staffords’ Explorer.
All parties were wearing safety devices. Bourakba was transported by Air-Evac to the Mercy Medical Center, in Creve Couer, with moderate injuries. The Staffords were pronounced dead at the scene by Pike County Coroner Jim Turner at 3 p.m. and taken to Mudd-Veach Funeral Home.
MSHP Troop C responded to the collision at 2:15 p.m.
Services for the Staffords will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, January 10, at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Vandalia with the Rev. Mike Barter officiating. Burial will be in Vandalia City Cemetery.
Visitation will be held Wednesday evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Family Life Center, Vandalia. Arrangements are under the direction of Bienhoff Funeral Home, of Laddonia.