PECULIAR, Mo. — An Independence man charged in the death of a highway worker was intoxicated and crossed into a construction zone when he hit the victim, according to court documents.
Trent David Mitchell, 24, is charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident, aggravated endangerment of a highway worker, and other related crimes.
According to the felony complaint, Mitchell hit and killed 35-year-old Jonathan Wilson of Kansas City, Missouri, on Oct. 8. Wilson was in a road construction zone in the northbound lanes of Interstate 49 north of Peculiar when he died.
Two other highway workers were nearby at the time of the deadly crash.
They told a Missouri State Highway Patrol investigator that a white Ford F-150 followed them as they drove to the work zone. The workers said they pulled into a lane that had already been closed and the driver of the truck pulled in behind them, according to the complaint.
One of the workers told the trooper he spoke with the driver, who was later identified as Trent Mitchell. The complaint shows the worker noticed Mitchell was holding a small bottle of liquor and that he was “noticeably intoxicated.”
The witnesses said Mitchell hit several cones and swerved back and forth as he pulled back into the open lane of I-49.
Investigators found the white Ford F-150 about 200 yards north of Wilson’s body. The court document shows investigators used the truck’s VIN and registration information to determine it belonged to Mitchell.
The complaint shows the truck has extensive damage to the front, passenger side and windshield. Investigators also found several alcoholic beverage containers inside.
Mitchell is scheduled to make his first court appearance on the charges Wednesday morning.
If Mitchell is convicted, he will be ordered to pay a $10,000 fine in addition to any sentence. The fine is in place because the crash happened in a marked construction zone.
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