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The Daily



06-13-03: Carthagena man killed in accident
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 Missouri.
    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 Wilker.
    "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 program.    
    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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