Police officers were not able to save two people from a fiery crash over the weekend.
The single-car accident happened on I-170 on Sunday. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says 27-year-old Nicholas Nelson's car left the road, hit a median cable and sign, then flipped over and caught fire. An off-duty St. Louis County police officer and Berkley officers tried to put out the fire and rescue the occupants, but failed.
Nelson and passenger Ilana Elbert both died.
DETROIT (AP) - Officials have confirmed two storm-related deaths in Michigan, raising to eight the toll from the heavy rain, powerful winds and tornadoes that formed across the region.
The Shiawassee County sheriff's department says 59-year-old Philip Daniel Smith of Perry in central Michigan was found dead and entangled in high-voltage power wires after going outside late Sunday to investigate a noise.
Also in central Michigan, Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand says 21-year-old Ryan Allan Rickman of Leslie died when his vehicle was crushed by a fallen tree Sunday evening.
A band of storms moved across the Midwest on Sunday, unleashing powerful winds that flattened homes and left cars, trees and belongings strewn across neighborhoods. Officials say the storms also killed six people in Illinois.
Governor Pat Quinn declared seven counties state disaster areas on Monday, after severe storms spawned tornadoes and high winds across Illinois on Sunday.
Hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged or destroyed, leaving thousands without power. Numerous roads throughout the state have been closed by fallen trees and downed power lines. At least six people are reported dead and dozens more injured.
Governor Quinn will inspect damage on the ground in some of Illinois' hardest hit communities including Washington, Diamond, Gifford, Brookport and New Minden.
“Yesterday Illinois was hit extremely hard by deadly tornadoes that left many in a great deal of pain and loss,” Governor Quinn said.
“Although we are still receiving reports of massive damage to communities across our state, we want to make sure people are getting the assistance and resources they need as quickly as possible. As we pray for the families of those who have lost their lives and others who are injured, the state of Illinois will do everything necessary to help these communities recover."
The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from the storms.
The state has dispatched technical rescue teams to a number of locations to provide emergency generators, light towers and communications systems. More information about the state’s flood response and flood safety is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has taken a new, more left-leaning approach in his second term.
Nixon has long been a Democrat. But he could have passed himself off as a moderate Republican during his first four years as governor. He cut taxes, spending and thousands of government jobs. And Nixon shied far away from President Barack Obama's signature health care law.
Since he won re-election a year ago, however, Nixon has sought to expand Missouri's Medicaid eligibility under Obama's health care law. He vetoed a big income tax cut and numerous other bills passed by the Republican-led Legislature. And this past week, Nixon came out in support of gay marriage.
Some political scientists say Nixon appears to be re-positioning himself to appeal to national Democrats.