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Driver charged in fatal wreck

Driver charged in fatal wreck

March 7th, 2013 in News

A little more than a dozen hours after he was involved in a fatal, wrong-way wreck on U.S. 54, Cole County prosecutors named Dennis G. Leporin in five criminal charges Thursday.

He was charged Thursday afternoon with second-degree murder, second-degree assault and driving while intoxicated ˜all felonies˜ plus two misdemeanors, driving while his license was revoked and driving the wrong way on a highway.

Jefferson City police said Leporin was driving east in the westbound lanes of U.S. 54, when his 1999 Ford Ranger collided head-on with Chelsea D. Fredrickson's 2003 Saturn Ion.

Fredrickson, 19, Camdenton, was killed.

Her passenger, Jasper J. Richmond, was flown by helicopter to the University of Missouri-Columbia hospital, for treatment of serious injuries.

Police said Leporin received moderate injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Associate Circuit Judge Thomas Sodergren ordered that Leporin, 28, Columbia, be held with no bond set.

The accident happened at 9:57 p.m., near the Missouri 179/Route B interchange.

Westbound 54 was closed for about three hours, with traffic diverted onto 179.

Police said no one was using a seatbelt.