BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- The father of the two children who were killed in a crash along I-70 in Blue Springs is now paralyzed, and the man accused of causing the crash says he was trying to change the song on his phone when he felt the impact.
James L. Green, 60, of Odessa, Mo., faces two counts of 2nd degree murder, two counts of 2nd degree assault, driving while intoxicated, and driving while revoked for his involvement in Monday's tragic crash.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol's online crash report, around 6 p.m., just west of Adams Dairy Parkway on eastbound I-70, a Cadillac Escalade rear-ended a Hyundai Elantra carrying driver David C. Beaird, 39; Jennifer L. Beaird, 37; Gavin Beaird, 13; and Chloe Beard,7; all of Warrenton, Mo.
The Escalade then hit an Acura TL and pushed the Acura into a Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Escape.
Gavin and Chloe Beaird were pronounced dead at the scene. David and Jennifer were transported to an area hospital with serious injuries.
"I had cruise control on. I was on my way home. I looked down at my phone to swipe to change the song. I did not look up. I was still looking down when the impact happened," Green reportedly told police.
When asked if he had been drinking, Green told troopers that he had three beers about an hour before the crash. Court documents say Green refused a breath test, but two blood test were taken, one hour apart. Those results are pending.
Prosecutors say the crash paralyzed David Beaird from the chest down. There was no update on Jennifer's injuries. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the family's costs of funerals and medical expenses.
Green sustained minor injuries in the crash. The occupants of the other vehicles were not seriously hurt. Everyone involved was wearing a seat belt.
Court records show that Green was charged with DWI in July 2007 in Lee's Summit, Mo., to which Green pleaded guilty. His sentence was suspended and he received two years probation. Court documents also show he was found guilty of DWI in Camden County, Mo., in 1997.
Green, who is currently being held in the Jackson County jail, is expected to appear in court on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Prosecutors have requested a cash bond of $200,000.