Carthage Fire Chief Chris Thompson said the city will recognize two women for helping a child who was a victim in a crash that killed two people, including the child’s grandmother.
Thompson said Keona Johnson and Leanne McAtee will be presented with a Citizens Awards at Tuesday’s Carthage City Council meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Carthage City Hall on the east side of the Square.
Thompson said the women will be recognized for “for their selfless acts of kindness and bravery when they intervened after witnessing a horrific head-on motor vehicle accident on Feb. 6, 2013.”
Thompson said the women were witnesses to the two-vehicle, head-on crash at 5:32 p.m., Feb. 6, on Fir Road at the intersection with County Road 175 that killed Julie G. Cartwright, 48, Joplin, and Brandon Stuckey, 22, Belleville, Ill.
Cartwright’s infant grandson, Hayven Cartwright, who was in the 2000 GMC Sierra pickup with her, was strapped in a baby’s car seat and unharmed in the crash.
“Both women, traveling in separate vehicles, made the conscious decision to place themselves in harm’s way after witnessing the accident,” Thompson said. “While checking for survivors, the women found a small child restrained in a car seat in one of the two vehicles. After rapidly assessing the baby for injuries, the women removed the terrified child from the car seat and began consoling him.
“Tragically, both drivers succumbed to injuries they received in the accident. Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. McAtee remained with the child for nearly two hours in the back of an ambulance while family was notified of the accident.”
“All too often when faced with a dangerous situation, we as a society turn away and wait for first responders to intervene,” Thompson continued. “This wasn’t the case on Feb. 6, 2013 for Mrs. Keona Johnson and Mrs. Leanne McAtee. It is a great honor to recognize both women who ignored their own safety and put aside their personal fears in an attempt to save the lives of people they didn’t even know.”
The council will consider a Public Works Committee recommendation to fast track a series of storm water improvements, now under construction on North Main Street near Schreiber Foods in the industrial bottoms area.
Public Works Director Zeb Carney recommended, and the committee agreed, to accept the low bid from Bennett Inc. for $362,785 to complete all three phases of a project to reduce flooding problems in the bottoms area.
Original plans had two of the three phases of the project being completed in the fiscal year that ends on June 30 and the third being completed next fiscal year.
Carney said the city budgeted $359,000 to complete the two phases planned for this year.
Page 2 of 2 - Carney said one phase of the project, to run a culvert under the railroad tracks between the bottoms and the Spring River, came in well under expectations.
The council will consider the contract on first reading at this meeting and give it a final vote at the March 26 meeting.
The council will also consider awarding a contract to Drury University’s Center for Community Studies for $5,500 to conduct a “visioning process” for Carthage’s parks.
The Steadley Trust has granted the city the money for the process, which will start in the fall of 2013.
The process will be similar to the downtown visioning meetings Drury students held in 2011 that led to the creation of a committee looking at a number of improvements for downtown Carthage.