Less than a week after crashing his pickup on a Reynolds County road while enroute to a meeting, 106th District State Rep. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, is doing well and recovering from minor injuries.
“I just say we were lucky it turned out like it did. We had our seatbelts on and they saved our lives,” Engler said of the rollover accident involving him and passenger Jared Falk. Both men were able to walk away from the accident which occurred on Route 21 just north of the Centerville Bridge over the west fork of Black River.
“Looking at that truck it’s amazing that we walked away,” Falk said two days after the crash. Engler suffered cuts and abrasions to the top and back of his head, eventually seeking treatment and receiving stitches. Falk said he was only “banged up,” and was feeling fine by Monday.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol report, Engler’s truck overturned several times after he attempted to pass a slow-moving truck pulling a trailer. Both Engler and Falk were wearing their seatbelts, and Engler received no citations in the mishap. The other driver, 53-year-old Marvin Brunk of Redford, Mo., was cited for no insurance, no seatbelt, no taillights on the trailer and no trailer registration.
The wreck happened at 2:25 p.m. on Feb. 20. Engler later reported heading south on Route 21 and approaching the truck and trailer combo from the rear. He said the driver of the truck was traveling extremely slow, so he pulled into the passenger lane to pass – still only going about 50 m.p.h. The driver of the truck, without signaling, turned to the left into the passing lane.
Engler said he pulled hard to the left and went off the roadway into a private driveway and was able avoid hitting Brunk’s truck. He then corrected back to the right and crossed both lanes of the roadway and traveled off the right side of the pavement and into a ditch. That’s when he lost control and the truck overturned at least three times.
The highway patrol report noted that Brunk’s truck was moving slowly at the time Engler attempted to pass and that he in no way acted in bad judgment.
Engler was able to make scheduled appointments over the weekend and returned to work and his office in Jefferson City on Monday.