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Blues legend Bob Plager killed in crash on I-64 in St. Louis

Police released new details Thursday about how the crash happened

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Blues legend Bob Plager has died after a crash Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 64 near Vandeventer in St. Louis.

Around 1:30 p.m. officers responded to the eastbound lanes for an "accident with injuries" call. Police said a man was rushed to the hospital and has since died.

Sources later confirmed with 5 On Your Side that Plager was the victim who died in the crash. He was 78 years old.

According to a police report, Plager was driving eastbound on I-64 when he veered to the left and struck a Dodge Grand Caravan. After hitting the Dodge, Plager’s car struck a concrete wall then crossed the highway and hit the concrete center median.

He was taken to a hospital where he later died. The driver of the Dodge, a 46-year-old woman, and passenger, a 20-year-old woman, were not injured in the crash.

The accident reconstruction unit is handling the ongoing investigation.

On Thursday, medical officials confirmed with 5 On Your Side that Plager died from a cardiac-related issue — not the injuries he sustained during a car crash Wednesday.

St. Louis City Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Graham said he is awaiting the results of some additional tests before he can officially call it a heart attack, but he said Plager's death was cardiac-related.

The Blues released a statement on Plager's passing Wednesday evening:

“It is unimaginable to imagine the St. Louis Blues without Bob Plager. He was an original 1967 member of the St. Louis Blues, but also an original in every sense of the word. Bobby’s influence at all levels of the Blues organization was profound and everlasting, and his loss to our city will be deep. Bobby liked to say he was No. 5 in our program, but No. 1 in our hearts. Today, our hearts are broken, but one day they will be warmed again by memories of his character, humor and strong love for his family, our community, the St. Louis Blues and generations of fans who will miss him dearly. The St. Louis Blues send all of our love and support to his family, and we hope everyone will find strength knowing that Bobby got his parade.”

Plager was born on March 11, 1943 in Kirkland, Ontario in Canada. He was an original member of the Blues, joining the team as a defenseman in their inaugural season of 1967-68. He played 11 of his 14 years in the NHL in St. Louis, scoring 20 goals and notching 121 assists as a Blue. 

Plager had his No. 5 retired by the Blues in 2017, and it hangs in the rafters alongside his brother, Barclay's retired No. 8.

The highway was closed for about three hours. Lanes began reopening at about 4:30 p.m.

This is a developing story and will updated as 5 On Your Side confirms more information.

Remembering a legend: