Community mourns death of young highway patrolman, James Bava

4 years 5 months 3 weeks ago Saturday, August 29 2015 Aug 29, 2015 Saturday, August 29, 2015 4:47:00 PM CDT August 29, 2015 in News
By: Lauren Donovan, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Flags across Missouri continue to fly at half staff in memory of Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper James Bava. Bava, 25 was attempting to overtake a traffic violator Friday morning in Audrain County when his car veered left, crashed into trees, overturned and caught fire. Bava is the 31st death since the Missouri Highway Patrol began in 1931.

Patrol Trooper Gary Gundy, a proud father and husband, believes he has seen it all in his 26 years on the force. The Columbia resident said he feels lucky to be alive and to be serving the community he loves.

"We do dangerous things, and quite frankly I'm surprised we don't lose more troopers in the line of duty," said Gundy, who has served the state of Missouri since 1989. 

Troopers are lost in the line of duty for a multitude of reasons: shootouts, car accidents and weather related incidents among other occurrences. Even seemingly small tasks like changing a tire can put a trooper beside a busy highway in jeopardy.

"In the winter when we send out advisories to stay home and not drive their cars because its so dangerous out, we put more troopers out on the road. We drive in the worst weather conditions," said Gundy. 

Six months of intensive training and three months of shadowing are essential to become a state trooper. Gundy said that all the while you are under a spotlight, being constantly evaluated by a senior highway patrolman. Bava had only finished his training 2 years ago. 

While he has been shot at and almost stabbed, Gundy has a true passion for his profession. He wants people to know that writing tickets is only a small fraction of what patrolmen do. "I would just as soon change someone's tire for them as write a ticket, I enjoy helping people out," he said.  

Bava's death has united members of the Highway Patrol across the state. In memory of Bava, all troopers wear a memorial pin and a trooper car will receive a sticker dedicated to Bava.

"My heart goes out to the parents and family of Trooper Bava. But I am sure even though I didn't know Trooper Brava, that he enjoyed his job because I meet very few troopers who don't," Gundy said. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - While the snow disappears with warmer weather, potholes are opening in roads around mid-Missouri. Street division employees... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 5:43:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A U.S. Army Veteran is passing through Jefferson City on Thursday as part of his effort to... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 4:37:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
ASHLAND - After the Landmark Bank and Simmons First National merger on February 18, residents in Ashland are seeing some... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 4:16:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Clean Missouri was approved by 62% of Missourians in 2018. Now, some Missouri lawmakers want to reverse... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 3:19:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A public defender representing a Columbia man who plotted a terrorist attack has asked for a 15-year sentence.... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:43:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – People from all around Missouri and lawmakers packed into a hearing room in the Missouri Capitol Wednesday... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:22:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia parents and candidates for the Columbia Board of Education met Wednesday to discuss special education. This... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:04:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State lawmakers on the House Elections and Elected Officials committee heard testimony on a bill that could... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 12:59:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A Fulton man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for a 2018 Columbia homicide. 30-year-old... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 12:23:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
FULTON - The State Technical College of Missouri is partnering with the Callaway Chamber of Commerce to provide the MoAMP... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 10:55:00 AM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced his candidacy to keep the seat Wednesday. Schmitt was appointed... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 10:13:00 AM CST February 19, 2020 in News
Loxahatchee, FL – According to the national institute of mental health, nearly one in five people in the United States... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:20:00 AM CST February 19, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The man suspected of shooting an off-duty police officer at a Walmart store in the... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 8:53:16 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One Missouri advocacy group will show up in numbers to support its cause on Wednesday. Decoding... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 7:50:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA-- Lawyers for a Columbia businessman, Dimetrius Woods, are employing last ditch efforts to keep him out of prison. ... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 7:00:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A deer was saved today at Lake Chapperal, north of Hallsville, by The Boone County Fire Protection... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 5:21:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones issued a statement on Tuesday about police transparency, following the release of a... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 5:06:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One lane of U.S. Route 54 in Jefferson City will be closed on Feb. 20. Missouri... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 2:59:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 18°
2am 17°
3am 16°
4am 16°
5am 15°