KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Linda Henderson of Platte City, Missouri, has been identified as the woman who died in a 47-vehicle pile-up Friday on westbound Interstate 70 near Oak Grove, Missouri.
The family announced that Henderson, 74, — “our beloved and incredible Mother, Grandmother, Girl Scout Leader, and loving woman” — died from injuries sustained in the crash.
Henderson’s husband, James, 75, also suffered serious injuries in the wreck. He remains hospitalized in critical condition at Centerpoint Medical Center, according to a release from HCA Midwest.
“We are incredibly grateful for the enormous amount of love, support and prayers we have received from all over the country,” the Henderson family said in a statement. “As we mourn the loss of such an amazing woman, we also know we have a long road ahead. With the great care he is receiving, the love and prayers of others, we have faith that he will have a strong recovery. We also ask for your understanding to respect our privacy as we deal with this event, and so we can stay focused on caring for and being here for our Father.”
The family has started a Go Fund Me to help with “medical bills, travel expenses and other things the family might need during this time.”
According to a post on the Go Fund Me, James suffered serious injuries to his back, neck, ribs, and head, but “he is coherent and talking,” according to an update..
Condolences and remembrances were beginning to roll in for Linda, who was a longtime volunteer with the Girl Scouts of America.
“Linda was an incredible Girl Scout alum and volunteer,” Chief Brand & Marketing Officer for Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri Gina Garvin said in a statement to 41 Action News. “Many people would say, if you needed to survive outdoors, you had to have Linda by your side. She trained countless other volunteers as they supported girls in the outdoors and certainly built the confidence in girls for outdoor experiences.”
The deadly crash unfolded after a 2012 Peterbilt semi tractor-trailer driven by the Marlon C. Davis lost control and slid off the left side of the road, partially blocking I-70, according to a Missouri State Highway Patrol online traffic crash report.
The 2016 Ford Escape driven by James Henderson crashed into rear towed unit of Davis’ semi.
A 2013 Dodge Ram driven by Steven Homfeld, 50, of Higginsville, Missouri, stuck the passenger side of the Hendersons’ vehicle.
Eight other cars would slam into the pile-up while dozens of other vehicle — including at least two more semis — veered off the road on the right side, attempting to avoid the wreck.
Brenda Homfeld, 54, of Higginsville, and Andrea Free, 63, of Farmers Branch, Texas, also were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. Free was driving 2015 Nissan Altima.
Weather-related traffic crashes spiked across the Kansas City area during the snowstorm Friday afternoon.
More inclement weather, which could make travel treacherous, is expected Saturday night and early next week.