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One dead, several injured in crash

One teen has died and several others were injured, including a newborn, as result of a one-car crash early Thursday at 1:05 a.m. on Route N in St. Francois County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol report, Zackery Prater, 22, of Centerville, was driving his 2009 Ford Focus northbound on Route N just north of Route NN when he went off the right side of the road’s edge and struck a tree.

Prater was wearing his seat belt and was seriously injured. He was airlifted to Mercy-Creve Coeur by Air Evac. His passenger, Ethan Chitwood, 18, of Centerville, was pronounced dead at the scene by St. Francois County Coroner Jim Coplin at 2:20 a.m. It’s unknown if he was wearing a seat belt.

Two other passengers, baby Brice Chitwood, a newborn, of Patterson, was also airlifted with minor injuries to St. Louis Children’s Hospital by Children’s Life Flight. Brice’s mother, Sara Rhine, 21, of Patterson, was airlifted to Mercy Creve Coeur by Air Evac with serious injuries. Both were wearing their seat belts.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or




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