Missouri Swimmers Caught in Illinois Ammonia Crash While Heading to Ohio State Meet


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TEUTOPOLIS — The University of Missouri community is reeling after a devastating HAZMAT crash near Teutopolis impacted four of its freshmen swimmers. 

The accident, which took place on Friday night on Highway 40 near Effingham, resulted from a tanker hauling anhydrous ammonia jackknifing, killing five including two young local children.

John Costello, 19, Anja Dangelmaer, 18, Weston Hemmerling, 18, and Sara Tague, 18, members of the Mizzou Swim Club, were on their way to a competition at Ohio State University when they were enveloped by a toxic cloud of ammonia. Although uninvolved in the collision, the cloud, released from a rupture in the tanker, left them with severe chemical burns. The four managed to escape their vehicle, seeking refuge in roadside ditches until emergency services could reach them.

A GoFundMe campaign, orchestrated by Ryan Huseman, has been set up to assist the students and their families during this traumatic period. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, half of the $40,000 goal has been reached. The Mizzou Club Swim board appeals for understanding and respect for the affected students’ privacy, emphasizing the fundraiser’s role in aiding the families as they grapple with mounting medical expenses and the emotional toll of the event.


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