On Monday, February 22, 2021, at approximately 1:20 PM, the Mexico Public Safety Department responded to the US Highway 54 bypass approximately 1 mile south of E. Liberty in reference to a crash. Responding personnel found that a 2004 Buick, being driven by David W Brenneke, age 82 of Iowa, was travelling eastbound (north) on the bypass when it crossed the centerline and struck a 2007 Acura which was being driven westbound (south) by Cole D Grimes, age 20, of Vandalia. MPSD used extrication equipment to remove Grimes from his car and he was treated by staff from Audrain Ambulance District. An MU Staff For Life helicopter responded but Grimes was pronounced dead at that scene before he could be transported to a hospital. Brenneke and his passenger, Joyce A Brenneke, age 85 of Iowa, were both found to be dead prior to emergency responder arrival. The bypass was closed and traffic detoured until about 2:58 PM
The incident is still under investigation.