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Fatality in Highway VV accident

By Shari Harris, Publisher

A two-vehicle accident on Highway VV at 4:20 p.m., Friday, took the life of a Licking man.

A Searcy, Ark., man, 30-year-old Hayden J. Mercer, overtook another vehicle in his 2022 GMC Sierra while traveling eastbound on Highway VV, four miles south of Licking. He changed lanes and struck head on a 2003 Ford Taurus, driven by 55-year-old Richard Strom, of Licking.

Strom was pronounced deceased at 5:14 p.m. by Texas County Coroner Marie Lasater and was transported to Fox Funeral Home in Licking. Mercer was not injured in the accident.

The GMC received extensive damage and the Ford total damage; both were towed by Jay’s Towing, Houston. The Missouri State Highway Patrol report indicates that Mercer was utilizing a safety device and Strom was not. This was Troop G’s 20th fatality for 2022.

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