A man from Waynesville has died after suffering a medical condition, which caused the truck he was driving to travel over an embankment and down a steep hill before finally coming to a rest in Rolla Wednesday afternoon.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Eric P. Vanpelt, 49, was pronounced dead by Deputy Coroner Lenox Jones at 3:07 p.m. at Phelps County Regional Medical Center.
"It appears he was involved in the accident because of a medical condition that caused him to lose control and run off the road," said Sgt. Dan Crain, of the patrol's Troop I. "He died of the medical condition, not because of the traffic crash itself."
The patrol's incident report stated Vanpelt was driving a 2010 Eagle International with a flatbed trailer for Lowe's westbound on Interstate 44 at the 184-mile marker when he suffered the medical condition.
The vehicle ran off the right side of the road and down the hill north of the exit 184 off-ramp.
The patrol report states it is unknown if Vanpelt was wearing a seat belt. The accident occurred around 2:20 p.m. There was extensive damage to the truck.
Denise Seevers was driving in the roundabout at the exit when her husband, Michael, in the passenger seat noticed the truck. Denise said Michael got out of their vehicle and went down the hill to check for injuries. Denise said she called 911 to report the crash.
Rolla police and firefighters and Phelps County EMS workers assisted the highway patrol at the scene.