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Area woman gets probation after fatal crash

Area woman gets probation after fatal crash

January 19th, 2019 in Local News

A California woman was placed on five years probation after pleading guilty to a drug charge filed after a September fatal crash in Moniteau County.

Abigail Heiland, 21, was charged with one count of delivery of methamphetamine, according to Moniteau County Sheriff’s Department reports. Moniteau County Judge Kenneth Hayden placed Heiland on probation after a hearing Friday.

The crash occurred Sept. 25 on U.S. 50 near Scott Branch Road, just west of California.

Heiland was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Joshua Kirchner, 22, of California, who was going west when he struck the rear of a vehicle driven by Jose Perez, 29, of Jefferson City, according to a Missouri Highway Patrol report. Kirchner then crossed the road and collided nearly head-on with a vehicle driven by Steven Smart, 60, of Tebbetts, heading eastbound.

Perez traveled off the right side of the road, overcorrected, crossed the center line and struck Smart’s truck.

Smart was pronounced dead at the scene.

Perez was arrested about half an hour after the crash for driving while intoxicated and not having a license.

While at the scene of the accident, Moniteau County deputies were notified by ambulance and fire personnel that Kirchner and Heiland kept asking about a black bag they had with them and seemed very concerned about its contents.

Deputies located the bag and detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from it. They searched the bag and found “a substantial amount of methamphetamine” along with marijuana, digital scales and packaging materials commonly used to distribute drugs, according to Sheriff’s Department reports.

Kirchner was charged with delivery of a controlled substance and is scheduled to be in court in May on his case.

Perez has been charged with driving while impaired and driving without a valid license, both misdemeanors. He is to be in court next week on those charges.