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Train accident sends two to hospital

Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 2:47 pm

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Moments after a car was hit by a train at the tracks on Audrain County Road 577 near Highway 54.

A Vandalia woman was in critical condition at a Columbia hospital after being struck by a train five days before Christmas. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Melissa Hodde, age 46, was attempting to cross the tracks at Audrain County Road 577, near Highway 54 in rural Audrain County, when her vehicle was struck in the passenger front side by the train.  Neither Hodde or her passenger Stephanie Stevens, age 37, of West Plains, were reportedly wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision.

The state police said that both were women ejected from Hodde’s 1999 Jeep Wrangler and were airlifted to University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia for treatment of serious injuries.
One day after the accident, a media relations spokesperson for the hospital said that Stevens’ condition had improved to “fair” while Hodde’s condition was classified as “critical.”

According to the American Hospital Association, the patient classification of “fair” means that the patient’s vital signs are stable and are normal. It also means that while the patient may be conscious, he or she may be uncomfortable. The association also says that when a patient is classified in serious condition, it means that the patient is displaying unstable vital signs that are outside of the normal limits. Finally, when a patient is classified as being in “critical” condition, it means that the patient has unstable vitals and is more than likely unconscious.
Since then, it was reported that Hodde was in ICU and was able to have visitors. Stevens has since been dismissed from the hospital.
The engineer of the 1967 G.E. Locomotive, Bryan Cleveland, age 42, of St. Charles, was not injured during the accident.
– Ethan Colbert, of the Bowling Green Times, contributed to the story.