West Plains Family Injured in Two-vehicle Crash

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In Howell County, a family of West Plains, Missouri was injured as another vehicle pulled into their path and caused the crash.

On December 17, 2011 at approximately 4:12 p.m., James Pitts, age 32 and of Myrtle, Missouri was operating a 2002 Ford traveling in the northbound direction of US 160. Dustin Ledbetter, age 28 and a resident of West Plains was the passenger in Pitt’s vehicle. The other vehicle that participated in this crash was the Cauthen Family of five. Codey Cauthen, age 25, and was operating a 2004 Ford traveling eastbound on US 160. Elizabeth Cauthen and her three children, newborns Emma and Greyden and 2 year-old Grant, were all passengers in the vehicle with Codey.

At that said time and place, Codey Cauthen was traveling eastbound on US 160 at County Rd., and only six miles east of West Plains. The crash occurred when James Pitts pulled into the path of the vehicle driven by Codey Cauthen and collided.

Driver, James Pitts, and his passenger, Dustin Ledbetter, were transported with serious injuries to the Ozarks Medical Center by the South Howell ambulance. Driver, Codey Cauthen, was air lifted to St. Johns Hospital in Springfield, Missouri by the air evacuation team in West Plains. Codey reported to have serious injuries from the result of this crash. Elizabeth Cauthen sustained moderate injuries and while her two year-old son, Grant, received minor injuries were transported to Ozarks Medical Center. Two infants in Cauthen’s vehicle were uninjured.

James Pitt’s 2002 Ford received total damages and was towed by Sterners Towing. Codey Cauthen’s 2004 Ford received total damages and was towed by J & J Recovery towing.

This auto-crash was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol as well with the assistance of trooper D. Johnson of troop G.


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 www.awsmithlaw.com. The A.W. Smith Law Firm has recovered millions in settlements and verdicts in serious injury and wrongful death cases.