Police: Two teens from Cleveland, Mo. killed in Cedar County crash

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 4:45 PM CDT
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CLEVELAND, Mo. (KCTV) -- A small-town community is grieving after a fatal crash killed three teenagers including two young men from Cleveland in Cass County, Missouri.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash that happened around 4:30 p.m. Thursday three miles east of Jerico Springs on Highway B.

Nineteen-year-old Clay Palmer and 18-year-old Logan Meerkatz of Cleveland died in the crash. Eighteen-year-old Ryan Chick of Cabool, Mo also died from his injuries from the wreck. Five people were inside the vehicle at the time of the crash. Eighteen-year-old Bradley Kidwell of Cabool was flown to the hospital with serious injuries. Taylor Ranney, 18, of Mountain Grove was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries.

“Topping a hill, it became airborne and ran off the right side of the road and overturned,” Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop D Sgt. Michael McClure said. “It could have been perhaps that the driver and the occupants weren’t familiar with the roadway.”

According to the preliminary investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, three of the occupants were ejected from the vehicle. The Missouri State Highway Patrol Major Crash Investigation Unit is investigating the cause of the crash. “The seatbelt is the is the single most important piece of safety equipment that we have in a motor vehicle,” Sgt. McClure said. “That simple act of taking that three seconds or less to buckle the seatbelt could save your life.”

According to the Cass Career Center, in March while seniors at Midway R-I School District both Palmer and Meerkatz received scholarships during a welding competition.

On Friday, several community members said their hearts sank when they learned about the deadly crash. Community members have started a “meal train” to organize meals and raise funds for the teens’ families.