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Nixon involved in traffic accident

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was treated and released from a hospital Friday after being involved in a traffic accident in the capital city.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said Nixon was a passenger in a Chevrolet Suburban driven by a patrol trooper that was rear-ended in a three-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 50, just a few blocks south of the Capitol. The trooper driving the state vehicle reported the accident at 9:12 a.m., the patrol said.

Nixon and the trooper both were taken to a hospital with minor injuries, the patrol and governor’s office said. The exact nature of their injuries was not immediately clear.

“When he is involved in an accident, it’s just a matter of protocol to take him to the emergency room and check him out,” said Nixon spokeswoman Christy Bertelson.

Patrol spokesman Sgt. Paul Reinsch said he had no immediate details about the other vehicles involved in the accident, nor whether any one in those vehicles was injured. Although the accident happened in Jefferson City, the investigation was being handled by the Highway Patrol.

The section of highway where the accident occurred has multiple lanes, numerous traffic signals and is one of the busiest roads in the city.

Nixon was continuing with his schedule of public events, though he was running a little behind for a speech at Adair County High School in the northern Missouri community of Brashear. Nixon was to speak later Friday at Lafayette Senior High School in the St. Louis suburb of Ballwin.

Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said he believed Nixon was traveling to the Jefferson City airport when the accident occurred. Holste was flying with Nixon for his events Friday but was not with him during the crash, because Holste had traveled to the airport in a separate vehicle.

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