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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Broadway car crash hospitalizes four

An early morning head-on car crash on Broadway sent four travelers, including an infant, to the University Hospital around 1 a.m. Saturday.

One driver, Dennis Atim, remains in critical condition, said Brian Tate, a Columbia Police Department officer and crash investigator.

According to a CPD news release, Atim, 35, lost control of his pickup truck in the snow, crossed the centerline, and collided with a Toyota Tundra driven by 19-year-old Cody Wilson. It is suspected that alcohol or drug intoxication may have contributed to Atim’s loss of control.

“We found some evidence in the vehicle that led us to believe that he could be intoxicated,” Tate said.

Atim had to be removed from his pickup by Columbia Fire Department personnel. He was taken to the hospital by emergency medical service personnel to be treated for life-threatening injuries.

EMS personnel also transported Wilson and his two passengers, Sara Struthers, 19, and John Struthers, 1, from the crash site for minor injuries.

Although the lab results are still pending, Wilson willingly took a blood test and is not believed to have been impaired when the accident took place.

Besides possible intoxication, police believe driving too fast for the road conditions or inattention to the road were factors in Atim’s loss of control.

Depending on the lab results, charges could vary significantly, Tate said.

“It could vary from an assault to as little as a DWI,” Tate said. “If none of those factors are present, it could just be a citation.”

The infant was reported to have been using a child seat, and the others seat belts, at the time of the accident.

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