Man pleads not guilty for Blue Springs crash that killed two kids
BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — The man accused of killing two children and paralyzing their father in a crash along I-70 in Blue Springs on Sept. 5, pleaded not-guilty on Monday before a Jackson County judge via video arraignment.
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 the Monday, Sept. 5 tragic crash. He told police he was trying to change the song on his phone when he felt the impact.
“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. 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.
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. Prosecutors say the crash paralyzed David Beaird from the chest down. 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.
Prosecutors requested a cash bond of $200,000.