11-year-old KC boy killed, other children hurt in rollover crash south of St. Louis

An 11-year-old Kansas City boy died in a rollover crash that injured several of his family members Saturday in rural Perry County, Missouri, according to a preliminary crash report from the Missouri Highway Patrol.

The wreck killed 11-year-old Van. V. Stephenson. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Perry County coroner.

Seriously injured in the crash were Jordan Tinsley, whose age was unknown, Van. V. Stephenson, 48, and La Lita A. Stephenson, 47. Vanissia M. Stephenson, 6, and J’Sean T. Tinsley, 6, suffered minor injuries. All are residents of Kansas City.

The driver of the minivan, Aubrey C. Sauls, 71, of Kansas City, Kansas, suffered moderate injuries, the patrol said.

The crash occurred about 7:25 a.m. on northbound Interstate 55 just south of Missouri Route M highway, north of Perryville, Missouri, which is a little more than an hour south of St. Louis.

The wreck occurred when the 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan they were in traveled off the left side of the road and struck an embankment. The force of the impact caused the minivan to overturn, eventually coming to rest on its roof in the median, according to the crash report.

Sauls was the only one listed as wearing a seat belt. It was unknown if Vanissia Stephenson and J’Sean Tinsley were properly restrained, according to the highway patrol.

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Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.