MO Highway Trooper killed while directing traffic
Strafford, MO – Flags at Missouri state buildings will be at half-staff to honor a highway patrolman who died Wednesday.
Corporal John "Jay" Sampietro, 36, was directing traffic on I-44 near Springfield yesterday when he was struck by an SUV. The patrol says the SUV driver couldn't see Sampietro because another car was blocking the view.
Sampietro had two children and a wife, Jennifer, who was a Highway Patrol dispatcher. She was on duty when her husband was struck at about 10:00 a.m.
Sergeant Dan Bracher says Sampietro was directing traffic around an accident reconstruction crew at the scene of a multiple-fatality crash Monday. Sampietro was waving vehicles into the outer lane when he was struck by a sport utility vehicle.
Sampietro dove toward the median but could not get out of the way in time.
Flags at state buildings will fly at half-staff until the night of Sampietro's funeral. He is the third highway patrolman to die in the line of duty this year.