On September 27, 2018, at 0701 hours, I was advised by Troop D Radio of a one-vehicle fatality crash involving a pedestrian. The crash occurred in Jasper County, east of Joplin, on Newman Road at Sunny Crest Lane. I arrived on scene at 0735 hours.
The crash occurred as a 2017 Freightliner tractor trailer driven by Lance T. Lee, date of birth September 25, 1969, was traveling eastbound on Newman Road. The pedestrian, D. C., date of birth July 17, 2010, was running northbound from her residence along Sunny Crest Lane. D. C. ran into the path of Lee’s vehicle and was struck by the front of the vehicle in the eastbound lane of Newman Road. Lee’s vehicle did not travel off the roadway and did not strike any other object at the scene. Lee did not stop and continued east, leaving the scene of the crash.
D. C. was transported by ground ambulance and pronounced dead at Freeman West Hospital by Dr. Boulware at 0727 hours. Lee and the vehicle he was driving at the time of the crash were located at YRC Freight in Strafford, Missouri. Sections of broken bumper from the crash scene were transported to Lee’s location. The bumper sections matched the damage to Lee’s vehicle. Pink fibers located at the scene with D. C’s. clothing were also found on the vehicle with blood and skin.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant Michael Bracker read Lee his Miranda warning at 1119 hours. During an interview conducted by Sergeant Bracker, Lee first stated he struck a deer on Interstate 44 near the 46 mile marker. Lee then admitted to being at the crash scene on Newman Road. Lee stated he saw the school bus stopped on Sunny Slope Lane and thought he struck a mailbox as he passed the school bus. Lee stated he told his company he struck a deer because hitting a mailbox is a chargeable accident and he would have lost time.