The first of two services to honor a fallen Miller County Sheriff's Department Deputy is scheduled today.
A visitation for Casey Shoemate, 26, of Eldon, will be 4-8 p.m. today at The Church at Osage Hills, 5237 Osage Beach Pky. in Osage Beach. A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the church. Shoemate's burial will be at the Eldon City Cemetery following the funeral service.
"I would like to thank the Miller County community for showing great support to the family of Casey Shoemate, as well as the Sheriff's Office, during this difficult time," Miller County Sheriff Louie Gregoire said in a statement on the department's Facebook page. "Casey was a wonderful man and our brother. The following days, weeks, months will be very difficult for us, but with the community support and prayers, we will get through this together. We also send our prayers to Mr. Robert Levin and his family."
Shoemate died while on duty in a two-vehicle crash Friday evening, which also injured Florissant resident Robert Levin, 65.
The Sheriff's Department announced Monday via Facebook that anyone wanting to donate to the Shoemate family could do so via an account created at Central Bank of Lake of the Ozarks under "Casey Shoemate Memorial Fund."
Memorial contributions have been suggested to go to Shoemate's children, Sam and McKenzie, ages 7 and 3, according to Phillips Funeral Home in Eldon.
A national broadcast has been sent out to all law enforcement agencies who wish to attend the memorial and procession.
Missouri Highway Patrol reports show the crash that took the life of Shoemate occurred around 5:50 p.m. Friday on Route Y, just north of Rabbit Hill Road, in Miller County.
Shoemate was going south on Route Y in his patrol vehicle with his emergency lights and sirens activated. Shoemate was responding to a residential structure fire on Hittridge Road off Route Y, between Eldon and Rocky Mount, Gregoire said.
Shoemate encountered a fire apparatus that was not sounding a siren or displaying emergency lights traveling in the same direction. While approaching the Route Y and Rabbit Hill intersection, he attempted to pass the fire apparatus and struck a northbound vehicle, driven by Levin, head-on.
Shoemate was pronounced dead at the scene. Levin was taken by helicopter to University Hospital in Columbia for treatment of serious injuries.
Shoemate had been with the Miller County Sheriff's Office since October and previously had worked for the Eldon and Versailles police departments.
Levin, most recently listed in fair condition by hospital officials in Columbia, is a pastor and founder of a church in Hazelwood and is married with three adult children, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.