Brookport has been in the news a lot since the EF-3 tornado demolished homes and businesses on Nov. 17. As if the tornado’s damage was not enough, the town’s residents learned of another tragedy Saturday involving Brookport Mayor John Klaffer.
Klaffer, who is a mail carrier, was traveling west on Purcell Road in his 1996 Oldsmobile making his mail deliveries when he was involved in a head-on collision with a 1999 Ford Expedition driven by Chandler Jared Martin, 17, of Brookport, who had with him passengers Evan J. Martin, 15, and Chad J. Martin, both of Brookport.
According to the accident report, the two vehicles collided just east of a hill crest. The report indicates the front passenger of the Ford Expedition advised authorities they were traveling 30 to 35 miles per hour and also said they were over on the edge of their side of the road, referring to the skid mark. The accident report states there was a 14-foot skid mark in the road.
Evan Martin and Chad Martin were transported by Massac County EMS to Lourdes hospital. Klaffer, who had to be extricated from his vehicle, was flown to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville by Air Evac.
Klaffer sustained fractures in all four extremities, neck and back, although no internal injuries were discovered. Klaffer remains at Deaconess, where he is in intensive care.
Following Klaffer’s accident, the Brookport City Council called a special meeting Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. to elect a mayor pro temp to serve until Klaffer is able and ready to resume his duties.
Oren Tom Souders, had been asked by the Klaffer family to serve on Klaffer’s behalf. The council members were in agreement with that, as they made and approved a nomination electing him as mayor pro temp.
Souders, who has also served as a Brookport alderman, is retired and says he can devote his time to the duties of the office.
He has been actively involved in the town clean up following the tornado that struck on Nov. 17.