Alleged driver in deadly Columbia crash arrested

4 months 3 days 1 hour ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:39:38 AM CST February 14, 2018 in News
By: Steve Lambson, News Content Manager

COLUMBIA - Authorities arrested a man in connection with a deadly crash on I-70 Drive Southeast in November 2017.

Court documents identified William Lauer as the driver of the truck which crashed into a bridge support on November 2017. Lauer allegedly left the scene after the crash. Two others in the truck, Cathy Watson and Randy Burks, were injured. Watson later died of her injuries.

According to the probable cause statement, someone called investigators after the crash and said Lauer had been the driver at the time. Lauer had a warrant for his arrest at the time, which is reportedly why he left the scene.

Authorities found Lauer at Welcome Inn on Providence Road, where his daughter said he had admitted to being the driver of the truck. Lauer later denied any knowledge of the crash while being questioned at the Columbia Police Department.

Another witness told investigators that two days after the crash, Lauer asked for a ride to the hospital to see Watson, and said he fell asleep at the...wheel when the crash happened.

While searching the vehicle, authorities found a shotgun, items connected to methamphetamine use, and a wallet believed to be Lauer's. Lauer, who has a prior felony conviction, is not allowed by law to own a gun.

Lauer is at the Boone County Jail on a total $100,000 bond.

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