The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

June 24, 2013

Driver pleads guilty in crash that killed two MSSU athletes

JOPLIN, Mo. — A guilty plea was entered Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court by the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident that killed two Missouri Southern State University football players in December 2011.

Jeremy Johnson, 21, of Harrison, Ark., pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deaths of Diondre Johnson and Michael McCrimmons, both 19 and from Springfield. Jeremy Johnson and Patrick Holt, of Benton, Ark., were injured in the accident on Interstate 44 near Sarcoxie. All four were Missouri Southern athletes at the time.

Circuit Judge Gayle Crane set sentencing for Aug. 19.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the accident happened at about 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 2, 2011, when a sport utility vehicle driven by Jeremy Johnson ran off the intestate’s westbound lanes and into the median cables two miles east of Sarcoxie. The vehicle overturned and came to rest in the eastbound passing lane of the interstate.

Diondre Johnson was thrown from the vehicle, the patrol said, while McCrimmons and Holt were inside the vehicle when it was struck by an eastbound tractor-trailer. The patrol said Jeremy Johnson was walking across the eastbound driving lane when he was hit by an eastbound car.

Jeremy Johnson in July 2012 pleaded innocent to the manslaughter charges. A probable-cause statement filed in Jasper County Circuit Court alleged that his blood-alcohol content after the accident was 0.11 percent. The legal limit in Missouri for drivers is 0.08 percent.

A series of lawsuits has been filed as a result of the accident.

Dionna Johnson, mother of Diondre Johnson, has filed a wrongful death suit against Jeremy Johnson and against the owner of the Springfield nightclub where the athletes were before the crash. In the lawsuit, she contends that the nightclub served alcohol to Jeremy Johnson, who was 19 at the time.

In addition, Larry McCrimmons, the father of Michael McCrimmons, has filed suit against Jeremy Johnson, and against the company that owned the tractor-trailer and the driver. In the lawsuit, McCrimmons contends that Jeremy Johnson caused the accident by driving at excessive speed.

Holt also has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Jeremy Johnson, the owner of the trucking company and the driver of the tractor-trailer.

Venue change

DIONNA JOHNSON’S LAWSUIT against Jeremy Johnson and the Springfield nightclub originally was filed in Greene County Circuit Court. A motion by the defense to move the case to Jasper County on a change of venue was granted in January.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • r072314techcenter4.jpg Southeast Kansas schools, businesses get behind new technical center

    When Galena Superintendent Brian Smith looks at the millions of dollars of construction projects going on in his district, not to mention similar projects underway in Joplin, Carthage and elsewhere, he sees the need to train masons.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hospital Shooting_Cast.jpg Doctor fired back at gunman in hospital attack

    A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital’s psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Friday’s Joplin Globe.

    July 24, 2014

  • APTOPIX Vatican Pope.jpg Pope meets Sudanese woman sentenced to death

    Pope Francis met privately Thursday with a Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence, blessing the woman as she cradled her infant daughter born just weeks ago in prison.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Box Turtle.jpg Getting reacquainted with garden dwellers

    Visitors to my garden this week find me covered in dust and dirt with bits of wood, leaves and who knows what else caught in my hair; stinky, sweaty gloves; grimy sweat pants and rivulets of dirty perspiration running down my face.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • mug_sarah-coyne-112613-c.jpg Sarah Coyne: Older kids still find joy in toys

    When she crawled under her covers, she buried her head in her pillow. Then she looked up at me and whispered, "But what if I can't stop thinking about that spider?"

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072414_annie1.JPG Child's play: Kids comprise the cast of 'Annie Jr.'

    The kids are getting a kick out of playing adults. While most of the main characters in "Annie Jr." are orphan children, some, such as Daddy Warbucks, Miss Hannigan and President Roosevelt, are squarely past adulthood.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo