The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

September 24, 2012

Accounts leave questions in fatality traffic accident involving deputy sheriff

NEOSHO, Mo. — Reports of witnesses to an Aug. 17 fatality traffic crash involving a motorcycle and a Newton County Sheriff’s Department vehicle don’t agree in the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s crash report.

The Globe obtained the patrol’s report via a formal request based on the state’s open records law. A more detailed crash reconstruction report is still to be released by the patrol.

The motorcyclist, Cory Sheppard, 33, of Neosho, died at the scene of the accident at 8:42 p.m. on Gateway Drive, about a mile and a half south of Joplin. A Newton County emergency vehicle driven by sheriff’s Sgt. David Trimble, headed south, struck Sheppard’s motorcycle, also headed south, from behind.

Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said at the time that Trimble was responding to an emergency call with his emergency lights and siren activated.

The report makes no reference to the nature of the emergency call to which Trimble was responding or to the speed of the vehicles.

Trimble’s statement in the Highway Patrol report was that he was traveling south with lights and siren activated “and there he (the motorcyclist) was.”

Witnesses Robyn Matthews and Raymond Matthews reported identical information to the patrol. They reported seeing the Sheriff’s Department vehicle headed south with emergency lights activated, but they said they didn’t hear a siren. They saw sparks coming from the deputy’s vehicle as it came to a stop, but they didn’t see the motorcycle until they came to a stop.

Another witness, Hank Heid, reported that he saw the motorcycle go by with its headlight on, followed by the vehicle with emergency lights and siren, “and then heard a bang.”

The narrative states that Sheppard was thrown from his motorcycle on impact and landed in the east ditch, while the motorcycle became lodged under the Sheriff’s Department vehicle and both skidded across the centerline before stopping.

Sheppard was wearing white tennis shoes, blue jeans, a gray T-shirt and a black helmet.

The report also states that the headlight and taillight of the motorcycle were collected as evidence and sent to the patrol’s Troop D crime lab in Springfield for examination.

Copeland said radio traffic and other information submitted for the investigation will show that Trimble had activated both his emergency lights and siren.

He said he didn’t want to speculate on the disagreements in the witnesses’ reports. He said the crash reconstruction should answer more questions when it is released.

Desk duty

SGT. DAVID TRIMBLE was suspended immediately after the accident. He was allowed to return to work, but only to desk duty, after the initial Highway Patrol report was completed., Sheriff Ken Copeland said.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Public hearing set on posed TIF district

    Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 Treble Makers.jpg Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium

    Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

     moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.

    April 17, 2014

  • 3 To Get Ready

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

    April 17, 2014

  • More volunteers, donations sought for ‘Victory 4 Haiti’

    The second meals-for-Haiti project, scheduled for April 26, is in need of donations and volunteers, organizers say. “Victory 4 Haiti,” a food-packaging event that will provide meals to the Haitian Christian Mission in the village of Fond-Parisien and elsewhere in Haiti, needs $60,000 to pay for about 280,000 meals.

    April 16, 2014

  • TIF proposal filed for development of area at 44th Street and Range Line

    Joplin’s Tax Increment Financing Commission will hold an informational meeting today on a proposal to establish a TIF district to pay for a wetlands project on property in the area of 44th Street and Range Line, where a developer wants to build a retail, office and hospitality district.

    April 16, 2014

  • 041614 MDOT5_72.jpg JATSO recommends 15 road projects for planning

    The reconstruction of the Highway 171/Interstate 49 interchange at Carthage and the construction of a limited-access highway on the west side of Joplin and Carl Junction are among the top highway projects to be identified by the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • PART TWO: Joplin City Council report documents continued

    As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. Documents are converted for digital viewing.

    The amount of documentation we received is extensive, and testimonies are continued here.

    April 16, 2014

  • Joplin city attorney takes job in Lee’s Summit

    City Attorney Brian Head will leave his Joplin post next month for a job in Lee’s Summit in suburban Kansas City. Head submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday morning to Mayor Mike Seibert and the City Council. The council is his employer.

    April 16, 2014