|06-13-03: Carthagena man killed in accident
|By MARGIE WUEBKER
The Daily Standard
A Carthagena man died early Thursday morning when the pickup truck in
which he was riding overturned and burst into flames along Interstate 44 in southwestern
Martin J. Wilker, 51, 3027 Hartke Road, was thrown from the vehicle and
pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 4:15 a.m. by Lawrence County Coroner Don Lakin.
He was a passenger in a westbound pickup truck driven by his son,
24-year-old Joseph Wilker of Chickasaw, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop D
reports. The 1992 Dodge Dakota veered off the roadway one mile west of Mount Vernon, went
airborne and struck an embankment before rolling over and bursting into flames.
Joseph Wilker was taken by ambulance to St. Johns Medical Center in
Springfield, Mo., where he remains in stable condition in the intensive care unit. He
sustained burns to his back, a broken collarbone, lacerations and internal injuries,
including a ruptured spleen that required emergency surgery, according to his sister, Deb
"My mother (Eileen) and other relatives flew out of Dayton last
night to be with Joe," she added. "He received serious injuries but he's stable
at this point."
Troopers indicated the son was using a seatbelt at the time of the
accident while the father was not.
The Wilkers had left Wednesday night bound for Texas to pick up a
semitruck Martin Wilker had purchased. He was self employed as a truck driver with Tuente
Trucking of Osgood. Family members were notified of the accident later Thursday morning by
the Mercer County Sheriff's Office.
"My dad was a good, honest man," Deb Wilker said. "He
loved to travel and he loved church."
An active member of St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Carthagena, he
currently served as CCD board president at St. Henry Catholic Church. He was past
commander of Maria Stein American Legion Post 571 and active in the Boy Scout
His body was transported to Lakin Funeral Home in Missouri pending
return to Mercer County.
Funeral arrangements are pending at Hogenkamp Funeral Home, Coldwater.
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