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Driver-switching mishap sends jeep rolling into oncoming big rig, killing one

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A woman is dead after her vehicle accidentally rolled into oncoming traffic in Missouri on Tuesday night, police report. 

The accident happened on Tuesday, January 25th just after 7:45 p.m. in St. Louis County. 

According to St. Louis Dispatch, 62-year-old Linda Hemenway pulled over onto the shoulder of Interstate 255 eastbound near Telegraph Road in order to let her passenger drive. The passenger, Edwin Hemenway, got out of the vehicle to walk to the driver’s side while Linda crawled into the passenger seat without exiting the car. 

Police say that the Jeep was either never put into park, or got knocked into reverse as Linda crawled into the passenger seat, and began rolling backwards, knocking Edwin over as it rolled. The Jeep then rolled in reverse across the interstate with Linda still inside and was struck by an oncoming tractor trailer. 

Linda was pronounced dead at the scene, and Edwin was transported to a nearby hospital with moderate injuries. The truck driver was not injured in the incident and says he tried to avoid the rolling vehicle but struck the left side. 

Police initially reported that Linda had intentionally backed across the highway to get to the shoulder, but further investigation revealed the attempt at switching drivers. 

Traffic was diverted at Telegraph Road for several hours as police investigated.

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