UPDATE JULY 8, 2020: NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. — The Newton County coroner says the June 25 death of a motorcyclist is now determined to be self-inflicted.

Dale Owen says that’s based on evidence from the scene on I-44 at mile marker one near eastbound traffic. He says that includes a handgun found near the motorcycle.

The driver was located just after 10:00 P.M. on June 25th, with a gunshot wound to the head.
He was initially taken to the hospital for treatment but later passed away from the injury. Next of kin was located for the out-of-state man.

EARLIER INFORMATION: JOPLIN, Mo. — An update to our story we brought you first on Thursday night along the I-44 corridor near the MO/OK/KS tri-state line. Police state they are “not seeking any other suspects” in regards to the shooting.

The name of the driver has yet to be released. He is still in a Joplin area hospital in critical condition.

MEDIA RELEASE: On June 25, 2020 at 10:10 P.M. officers with the Joplin Police Department responded to the 1 MM of East Bound I-44 for a single vehicle injury crash involving a motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle was transported to a local hospital at which time it was discovered the driver was suffering from a single gun shot wound. Detectives with the Joplin Police Department responded and are currently investigating the incident. At this time the Joplin Police Department is not seeking any other suspects. The driver of the motorcycle is currently at a local hospital and is listed as being in critical condition.


About 10:15 PM Thursday night authorities were alerted to reports of a motorcycle crash along I-44 eastbound, near mile marker 1. Joplin Police Cpl Tyler Christensen tells us a caller from the interstate thought they’d witnessed a motorcycle crash. But that ended up not being the cause of the man’s injuries:

“The initial call: we responded to a crash that involved a motorcycle. Once on scene Newton County Ambulance rendered aid. It was later, once [he] was transported to the hospital, that we were notified that he had a gunshot wound. We secured the area, Joplin Detectives were notified, they are here and have started an investigation.”

The adult male was transported, Priority One, to an area hospital trauma unit. His current condition is critical. He was not able to speak or tell police what had occurred.

Joplin Police closed down the south outer road from Loma Linda to Downstream Blvd except to local traffic. Information released to the public is currently limited.

The man’s identity is not being released and the road he was traveling on is not exactly known. Was it I-44 east? Or the south outer road? Either road Cpl Christensen says the motorcycle was not traveling very fast when it crashed.

Joplin Police are seeking anyone with more information to call their non-emergency number: 417-623-3131 press “0” and ask for the officer on duty.