The deadly accident happened around 5:00 a.m. after a passenger van struck the back of a tractor trailer that was stopped for an unrelated accident.
The driver of the van, Phun Bik, 43 and his wife Rose Mery Thlia, 37, were killed. Nine other people were taken to the hospital, including eight other passengers in the van and a person from another vehicle involved.
Seven of those taken to the hospital are being treated for serious injuries.
Officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol say the van was carrying workers to Triumph Foods in St. Joseph.
The accident closed both northbound lanes and forced drivers to re-route through highways nearby.
Many semi trucks were forced to sit and wait.