A Lake Saint Louis man was killed after logging equipment toppled from a truck and into the path of the man’s vehicle on the narrow Champ Clark Bridge, authorities said Thursday morning. Kyle David Brown, 40, of Lake Saint Louis, was fatally injured in the crash about 8:15 a.m. Wednesday on the bridge, which carries U.S. Highway 54 from Louisiana, Mo., to Pike County, Illinois. The Illinois State Police said Brown was driving east on the bridge in a 2011 BMW sport utility vehicle. Kenneth L. Davis, 50, of Pleasant Hill, Ill., was in a 1992 International tractor-trailer going west on the bridge. A tire on the truck’s trailer hit the guardrail on the bridge. Logging equipment on Davis’ trailer was thrown into the path of Brown’s SUV, which hit the equipment head-on. Illinois Police Master Sgt. Jeff Schisler described the logging equipment as similar to an oversized forklift. Davis, the truck driver, had used safety chains to secure the equipment on the tractor-trailer, but the chains snapped when he struck the guardrail, Schisler said. Brown, who was married and had two children, died at the scene. Brown was chief marketing officer for Stark Bro’s Nurseries and Orchards Co.
in Louisiana, Mo. He has been with the company about 10 years. “He will be missed,” said Jacquie Zbleski, the company’s chief operating officer. “He did a lot for our company to move us forward. He will be sorely missed.” The Champ Clark Bridge is a narrow, two-lane bridge. Davis was ticketed for improper lane use because he left his lane and hit the guardrail, Schisler said. Additional charges may come because the tractor-trailer may have been too wide for that bridge, he added. The bridge was closed to traffic for about six hours while police investigated the fatality. Because the guardrail was damaged, temporary repairs were made. The bridge was reopened once it passed a Missouri Department of Transportation inspection for damage. The crash investigation was handled by the Illinois State Police District 20 in Pittsfield, Ill.