Wrongful Death in Head-on Collision

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In Newton County, a Joplin woman is wrongfully killed in a head-on collision when the at-fault driver in operating his vehicle in the oncoming lanes of traffic.

On December 19, 2012 at approximately 5:40 p.m., Josh Vaughan, age 34 from Neosho, Missouri was operating a 2007 Nissan Pathfinder. Marguerite Ward, age 56 from Joplin, Missouri was operating a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu.

At that said time, Josh Vaughan was traveling in the southbound direction on Business Loop 49 while Marguerite Ward was traveling in the northbound direction. The collision occurred as Josh Vaughan was passing another vehicle in the oncoming lanes of traffic and collided head-on with Marguerite’s vehicle.

Marguerite Ward was transported by ambulance to Freeman West Hospital in Joplin and later pronounced dead by Dr. Curtis Cox. Josh Vaughan received moderate injuries and was taken by ambulance to Freeman West Hospital. According to the crash report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, both passengers were wearing their seat belts at the time of the collision.

Required by law, the surviving driver was tested for alcohol.

Josh Vaughan’s 2007 Nissan Pathfinder received total damages from the crash and was towed by Comer’s Wrecker in Joplin. Marguerite Ward’s 2009 Chevrolet Malibu received total damages and was towed by Chuck’s Towing in Joplin.

This fatality crash was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and with the assistance of Troop D.


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 573-777-3333 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.