Early Sunday morning, a fiery single-car crash in west St. Louis County claimed the lives of three teenagers and left two injured.
Without pointing blame or speculating on what may have happened early Sunday morning, neighbors who spoke to 5 On Your Side said they are frustrated by speeding, traffic violations and wildlife in the area.
Tom Odlum has lived near Kiefer Creek for 30 years and has never seen anything like the accident early Sunday morning.
“The entire car was engulfed in flames from bumper to bumper,” he said. “It was just horrific, it was terrible.”
Odlum said he doesn’t know if speed played a role in the collision, but that he wants to see people slow down.
“I think they need to have more patrols. You see policemen up and down the street all the time between Manchester and St. Louis County, perhaps if they were doing some seated patrols where they were taking radar,” he said.
Steve Wolfe lives in the next subdivision over from Odlum, he too drives Kiefer Creek often.
“Sometimes people go 40 miles an hour and people want to go a lot faster so they cross the double yellow line,” he said.
A former driver’s ed instructor in California, Wolfe wants people to be aware of all the hazards, not just other drivers. Pointing to the side of Kiefer Creek that borders the woods, he told 5 On Your Side that deer pop out all the time.
5 On Your Side requested crash information for Kiefer Creek Road from the St. Louis County Police Department.
Since 2019, officers have reported 29 vehicle crashes:
12 crashes in 2019
9 crashes 2020
8 in 2021
Of those 29 collisions, one was deadly, Sunday’s. In 3 of the 29 crashes, people were hurt, including the two teenagers who survived on Sunday.
St. Louis County Councilmember Tim Fitch’s district neighbors Kiefer Creek. He says the road needs to be redone.
“Every time I am on Kiefer Creek, I think about how dangerous it is and how much that area has grown,” Fitch tells 5 On Your Side, “I think the best solution here would be to reconstruct and re-engineer these rural roads in St. Louis County, particularly in West County where so many of these exist.”
Two boys and a girl died at the scene. In a Monday morning update, police identified the victims:
Cole Anello, 16, of Manchester (driver)
Rhegan Sajben, 15, of Wildwood
Jacob Keifer, 15, of Ballwin
GoFundMe accounts have been set up to benefit the families of the three victims — Anello, Sajben, and Keifer.