Some thought he had been an angel, others a ghost, but a mysterious priest who seemed to just appear at a horrific accident scene on Highway 19 near Center, Missouri last week is real. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City issued a statement Monday identifying him as Fr. Patrick Dowling of Columbia.
Fr. Dowling has been the subject of speculation since arriving with anointing oils and praying with rescuers and 19-year-old Katie Lentz, of Quincy, Illinois, who was trapped in her mangled car. Then he had seemed to disappear.
The diocese says Fr. Dowling came across the scene while driving between morning Mass assignments.
Fr. Dowling wrote about the August 4 accident in the comments section of story about the crash on the National Catholic Register website. Here is what he wrote:
“I had Mass in Ewing MO as the regular priest was sick. As I was returning, I arrived at the scene. The authorities were redirecting traffic. I waited till it was possible to drive up closer. I parked behind a large vehicle about 150 yards from the scene. I asked the Sheriff’s permission and approached the scene of the accident. I absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt. Then I stepped aside to where some rescue personnel and the pilot were waiting, and prayed the rosary silently. I left when the helicopter was about to take off, and before I got to my car it was on its way to Quincy. I was amazed at the calmness of the two Highway patrol men. The sergeant was completely in control, amazingly calm. Everybody worked as harmoniously as a Swiss watch despite the critical nature of the scene. I gave my name to one of the authorities, perhaps to the sergeant of Highway Patrol, explaining that I was returning having celebrated Mass at Ewing. It was the sergeant who, at the Sheriff’s request, gave me Katie’s name as I was leaving, so I could visit her in hospital—I assumed she would be taken to Columbia. I think there may have been angels there too and, in this context, I congratulate the fire team from New London and Hannibal, the Sheriff/deputies of Ralls County, the Highway Patrol personnel, the helicopter team, the nurses and all who worked so professionally. God has blessed your work. I hope the credit goes where it is due.”
One woman is in critical condition after a series accident in Des Peres Monday afternoon.
Police say a work truck hit a car at the intersection of Manchester and Lockett around 2 PM. A man and woman were in the car and both were injured. KMOV reports the woman was briefly trapped in the car and was freed by emergency crews. The woman remains in critical condition.
The driver of the truck was not injured.
Police are calling the death of a four year old metro-east boy a tragic accident.
Major Jeff Conner with the Granite City Police says Charles Collins was stuck and killed about 5:30 Saturday evening in the first block of Steele Drive. Major Conner says the boy had apparently run into the street and was stuck by a family member's car.
He was pronounced dead after being transported to Gateway Regional Medical Center.
An autopsy will be performed today, but police don't expect to file any charges in the case.
A metro-east woman is in critical condition after being struck by a train near Granite City Tuesday night. Police say it happened about 9 p.m. at Lenox and Chouteau in Mitchell, Illinois.
A couple had reportedly been riding an all-terrain vehicle when it got stuck on railroad tracks. The man was able to jump out of the way of the on-coming train, but the women couldn't.
The woman was struck and later airlifted to a hospital. The man wasn't hurt.
CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Police say a small plane has crashed in St. Louis County, killing both people aboard.
St. Louis County Police Captain Randy Vaughn told KMOV that the victims in Saturday morning's crash were an adult male and a female child. Their ages and identities were not released.
KMOV says the Cirrus SR-22 plane was scheduled to leave the Spirit of St. Louis Airport in West St. Louis County at 4:50 a.m. Saturday, and a distress call was received at about 5:10 a.m.
The Monarch Fire Department told KMOX that the plane didn't clear trees after taking off from the airport.
The FAA has been called into investigate.
Joe Duever, who lives near the crash site, told KMOV that it shook his house.
Charges are filed against Keith Wildharber after police say he accidentally shot and killed his friend.
Wildharber was drinking with his friends on Monday night, when witnesses say he playfully pulled out a gun, pointed it at the victim, asked the victim if he trusted him, and pulled the trigger. The victim died from a gunshot wound to the stomach. Police say Wildharber believed the gun was unloaded.
He now faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter.
A fatal accident shut down Eastbound I-44 on Saturday.
A man driving a pickup truck ran into an empty police car that was parked there to divert traffic after an earlier accident. The truck ricocheted into a tractor trailer. The pickup then burst into flames.
The driver of the pickup truck died at the scene.
Emergency personnel evacuated a pilot from a Jerseyville corn field after his plane crashed.
Jersey County Sheriff Department says the man took off in the single-seat experimental plane around 10:30 this morning from the Jerseyville Municipal Airport. Shortly after takeoff the pilot says the plane's engine had problems and before he could return to the airport, the engine died. The plane crashed into a nearby cornfield.
The pilot was hurt in the accident, but authorities say the injuries are not serious.
A 12 year old Jefferson County girl is fighting for her life after being struck by a car while riding her bike Wednesday afternoon. It happened about 2:30 p.m. in the 4000 block of West Rock Creek Road near Romaine Creek Road.
The Missouri Highway Patrol says a 72 year old woman was rounding a curve when she struck Isabella Marco. Investigators say Marco was riding her bike eastbound in a westbound lane when she was struck head-on.
The girl was airlifted to St. Louis Children's Hospital where she's listed in critical condition.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) -- A southeast Missouri woman is facing manslaughter charges for allegedly running over her lover.
The Southeast Missourian reports that 29-year-old Angelia Hanson of Cape Girardeau was charged Friday with first-degree involuntary manslaughter in the death of 43-year-old Jody Lane.
Police say Hanson backed a Dodge Durango over Lane Friday morning outside their home. Hanson told police she accidentally ran over Lane after an argument. Lane was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead a short time later.
Hanson does not yet have an attorney. She is jailed on $100,000 bond.