Area police officer dies after months in coma

New Bloomfield police officer Micheal Tufts, 25, died about 11 p.m. Saturday after being in a coma as the result of a 2012 drunk driving accident.

Tufts’ vehicle was hit by Spencer Gordon of Columbia, who was 20 at the time, on Providence Road near the Hinkson Creek Bridge in Columbia. Gordon, who was arrested for manslaughter and driving while intoxicated, drove his Volkswagen Beetle southbound and collided with Tufts’ Ford F-150, which had two other passengers — Michelle Morrow, 24, of Columbia and John W. Kalogeris, 21, of Columbia — inside.

Tufts was in critical condition at University Hospital after the crash. Morrow was killed in the accident and Kalogeris was injured.

Gordon and his passenger, Kyle M. Turner, 22, of Columbia were not injured.

In June, Gordon was found guilty of first-degree involuntary manslaughter and two counts of second-degree assault. He was sentenced to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Two visitation services will be held for Tufts: 4-8 p.m. Friday and 9-11 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Funeral Home in Columbia. He will be buried in his uniform, according to New Bloomfield Police Chief Chris Hammann. Hammann said he is trying to arrange a police escort for Tufts that will go from Columbia to Bellefontaine where Tufts will be buried.

Tufts worked for the New Bloomfield Police Department for four months before the crash.

After the crash, Sgt. Justin Davidson, who was with the New Bloomfield Police Department in 2012, said Tufts was “eager to succeed” in his first job in law enforcement.

“He volunteered to put in a lot more time working as a police officer than expected,” Davidson said.

“When I told him four months ago he had been approved for the job, he was so happy.”


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