MSHP confirms trooper killed in Audrain County crash
AUDRAIN COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol confirmed Friday afternoon a state trooper died in a crash earlier that morning.
Corporal Scott White said Trooper James Bava, called dispatch around 8:30 a.m. saying he saw a motorcyclist commit a traffic violation. White said when operators tried to contact him a few minutes later, he did not respond.
The trooper's vehicle was found crashed off Route FF in Audrain County.
MoDOT crews closed County Road 977 at 9:32 a.m., between County Road 989 and Route M.
A MoDOT representative estimated Route FF in Audrain County would be closed for about eight hours
According to White, the Major Crash Investigative Team is conducting an investigation.
"The death of Trooper Bava is a reminder of the dangers that the members of Missouri's law enforcement community face each time they put on their uniforms, and how they willingly put themselves in harm's way," Gov. Jay Nixon said. "We join his family, friends and colleagues in mourning his death, and the flags at half-staff will honor Trooper Bava's service and sacrifice."
Nixon ordered the U.S. and state flags at all Missouri State Highway Patrol facilities to be immediately lowered to half-staff, through the date of Trooper Bava's funeral. After a funeral date is set, Gov. Nixon will order flags statewide to fly at half-staff on that day to honor Trooper Bava.
A map showing MoDOT closures can be found here.
Bava was appointed to the Missouri State Highway Patrol July 1, 2013, and was member of the Patrol's 97th Recruit Class. He is the 31st member of the patrol to lose his life in the line of duty.
We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
[Editor's note: This story was updated with information about the trooper's death and more crash information.]