Benton County Crash Ends in One Fatality and Serious Injury for Two

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Warsaw, Missouri resident fatally injured in head-on crash, two seriously injured.

On November 12, 2011 at approximately 9:00 p.m., 20 year old Joshua Groves of Sedalia, Missouri was operating a 1998 Dodge traveling northbound on US 65, about 1/10 mile north of Main Street in Warsaw. Groves’ vehicle was occupied by himself and one passenger: 22 year old Brandon Debates of Warsaw, Missouri.

At that said time and place, 47 year old Thomas Belanger of Warsaw, Missouri was operating a 2001 Chevrolet traveling southbound on US 65. Belanger crossed the centerline and crashed into Groves’ vehicle head- on. Groves’ vehicle came to rest in the roadway facing southeast while Belanger’s vehicle came to rest on the shoulder facing northeast.

Passenger Brandon Debates was pronounced dead at the scene by Benton County Coroner, Jim Miller. Driver Joshua Groves was transported by Staff for Life to University Medical Center in Columbia for treatment of serious injuries he sustained in the crash. The at-fault driver, Thomas Belanger, was also transported by Staff for Life to University Hospital in Columbia with serious injuries.

Both vehicles sustained total damage in the crash and were towed from the scene by Precision Tow. All parties involved were wearing their safety devices at the time of the crash. Joshua Groves possessed insurance coverage on his vehicle at the time of the crash; however, it is unknown if the at-fault driver possessed insurance coverage.

This crash was investigated by Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper D.C. Kissinger of Troop A and was assisted by Sgt. B.L. Daniel, Cpl. J.K. Riley, Trooper R.J. Chapman, Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Warsaw Police Department, Warsaw Fire and Warsaw/Lincoln Ambulance. Investigation of this crash continues. No arrest information currently.

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