Two MSSU Athletes are Killed by Crash

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In Jasper County, a previous crash with two 19 year-old Missouri Southern athletes killed one passenger and three minutes later after a collision, killed a second passenger.

On December 2, 2011 at approximately 2:43 a.m., Jeremy Johnson, age 19 and from Harrison, Arkansas was operating a 2000 Nissan Pathfinder traveling in the westbound direction on I-44. The passengers in Jeremy’s vehicle are Patrick Holt, from Benton, Arkansas, Diondre Johnson and Michael McCrimmons, both from Springfield, Missouri and all participants of this crash were 19 years of age. The collision was with Steven Sweeten, age 39 and a resident of Cameron, Oklahoma where he was operating a 2003 Sterling Conventional tractor trailer traveling in the eastbound direction on I-44.

At that said time and place, Jeremy Johnson was traveling westbound on I-44, only two miles east of Sarcoxie, Missouri were he suddenly veered off the roadway and struck the median. The vehicle overturned and ejected Diondre Johnson, as it then came to a rest in the passing lane of eastbound I-44. Diondre Johnson was immediately killed from this crash. Jeremy left the vehicle and was struck by a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Charles Lee, 62, of Wentworth, Missouri. Only three minutes later as Jeremy’s vehicle was still overturned and disabled in the eastbound lane from the previous accident, it then was struck by Steven Sweeten and killed Michael McCrimmons.

Both Diondre Johnson and Michael McCrimmons were pronounced fatal by coroner, Rob Chappel, as both bodies were transported to Joplin Mortuary Service in Webb City. McCrimmons and Diondre Johnson were both 2010 graduates of Parkview High in Springfield, Missouri.

Required by state law the surviving driver, Jeremy Johnson, was involved with a fatality accident and must be tested for alcohol. The two surviving participants of the crash stated that they were returning to Joplin after visiting a nightclub in Springfield. No further evidence of alcohol consumption was reported.

Driver, Jeremy Johnson, was airlifted to Freeman Hospital in Joplin for his serious injuries. The only surviving passenger in Jeremy’s vehicle is Patrick Holt. Patrick was airlifted to St. Johns Hospital in Springfield, Missouri for his serious injuries as well.

Jeremy’s 2000 Nissan Pathfinder received total damages from this crash and was towed by M & M in Carthage, Missouri. Steven Sweeten’s 2003 Sterling tractor received moderate damages from the crash and was towed by McDowells in Springfield, Missouri.

A candlelight vigil was held on the evening of Friday, December 2, 2011 for the two men on the Missouri Southern campus.

This auto-crash was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol with the assistance of trooper, Joe Fischer of troop D. This is the 105th fatality for troop D in 2011.


The A.W. Smith Law Firm in Columbia handles auto crash and wrongful death cases all over the State of Missouri. If you have questions about how to choose a law firm that is equipped to handle your auto crash or wrongful death case, please contact us today at 573-443-7300 or visit our website at The A.W. Smith Law Firm has recovered millions in settlements and verdicts in serious injury and wrongful death cases.