• January 27, 2017

Tisha Briggs, Leo Walker Killed in Seymour, MO, Truck Accident

Seymour, MO -- January 25, 2017, Tisha Briggs and Leo Walker were both killed after a truck accident that resulted in second-degree murder charges.

According to investigations by the Missouri State Police, the accident occurred in the afternoon hours of Wednesday at the intersection of US Highway 60 and West Clinton Avenue.

Preliminary reports indicate that 48-year-old Briggs and 47-year-old Walker were in a car at a red light on the highway. Ahead of them was a tractor-trailer also waiting at the light.

Traveling down the highway was 33-year-old Adam Housley in an 18-wheeler. For reasons unclear, the 18-wheeler did not stop in time, slamming into the back of the car. This collision pushed the vehicle beneath the other 18-wheeler, pinning the victims between both trucks.

As a result of the severe crash, both Briggs and Walker died at the scene of the accident. Neither truck driver was injured in the crash.

Following the accident, on Thursday, authorities from Webster County placed Housley under arrest. He now faces two counts of felony second-degree murder. Details surrounding the specifics of the charges have not been made clear.

Police have not released any additional information regarding the crash. Investigations are ongoing.

Map of the Area

Commentary

There seems to be a very peculiar issue with this accident, and that issue is why was the truck driver charges with second-degree murder? Most of the time when you see these kinds of accidents, truck drivers are not charged criminally at all. Usually, fatal accidents are left to be resolved in the civil court system through a wrongful death lawsuit. When a truck driver is charged with a criminal offense at all, typical charges are more along the lines of manslaughter, reckless driving, etc. The fact that the truck driver in this accident was charged with second-degree murder would seem to imply that his conduct was abnormally bad at the time of the accident.

Let's look at how the Missouri State Legislature defines second-degree murder:

A person commits the offense of murder in the second degree if he or she:

  1. Knowingly causes the death of another person or, with the purpose of causing serious physical injury to another person, causes the death of another person; or
  2. Commits or attempts to commit any felony, and, in the perpetration or the attempted perpetration of such felony or in the flight from the perpetration or attempted perpetration of such felony, another person is killed as a result of the perpetration or attempted perpetration of such felony or immediate flight from the perpetration of such felony or attempted perpetration of such felony.

I can't imagine any scenario where a truck driver would meet the first criteria of purposefully causing the death of another motorist. As such, it seems far more likely that they charged him on the basis of the second statutory clause; that he killed someone while committing a felony. This inclusion in the law creates kind of a catch-all that allows prosecutors to charge someone with second-degree murder absent intentionally killing someone.

This leads me to assume that the truck driver could have been on some serious drugs at the time, maybe transporting illegal substances, or committing some sort of serious felony when this accident occurred. There are a lot of different possibilities that could have happened, and all I can do at this moment is speculate. There are very important details that the news isn't telling us at this time, and the exact factors of this crash need to be determined before any real conclusions can be made.

Whatever the case, some serious negligence was committed during this accident, and two people paid the ultimate price for someone else's mistakes. One way or another, that person needs to be held accountable.

--Grossman Law Offices

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