Friends remember woman with disabilities killed when fiance drove into flood

3 months 1 week 6 days ago Thursday, June 06 2019 Jun 6, 2019 Thursday, June 06, 2019 7:21:00 PM CDT June 06, 2019 in News
By: Rosemond Crown and Annie Ochitwa, KOMU 8 Reporters
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BOONVILLE - Friends of Alicia Meyer are remembering her days after she died in a car driven onto a flooded road.

Prosecutors said Meyer's fiance, James Pleasant, drove through barricades on Route M in Chariton County on Friday. Prosecutors said, as flood waters began to sweep the car away, Pleasant escaped through the trunk. 

Meyer was trapped and her body was found four days later about 50 or 70 yards south of the roadway.

Pleasant was charged with involuntary manslaughter and booked into the Chariton County Jail on a $50,000 cash only bond. 

Since KOMU 8 News reported on her death, friends have highlighted a post Meyer made on Facebook two days before she was reported missing.

In the post, Meyer thanks a stranger for pulling "our car through the 14-inch floodwaters". Friends said it was troubling to know she died in a similar situation days later. 

"That makes me feel very upset," said a former co-worker, Jonathan Spencer. "And I would ask Missouri legislature to make it where, if you're travelling with someone, especially someone with a disability, and you move a barrier, it needs to be a crime."

Meyer's friends said she dedicated her life to advocating for people with disabilities.

For years she was president of the Boonslick People First group in Boonville. The group champions the rights of people with disabilities. 

"She was passionate about advocacy," Spencer said. "We both were. She really wanted to empower people."

Spencer said Meyer left the group and moved to Mendon when she met Pleasant.

Meyer's family said she became paralyzed during a brain tumor surgery when she was a teenager, but it didn't change her.

"She was very animated, she was very bubbly. She had a lot of personality, very intelligent, and had a lot going for her. She will be greatly missed," said Linda Burnett, Meyer's former music teacher.

Burnett said she admired Meyer's courage.

"She was a beacon for a lot of people that they could overcome a lot," Burnett said.

Alicia Meyer's sister-in-law, Toyna Meyer, said she was a pre-law major at Central Methodist University in Fayette. She had also just started to sell online for Color Street Nails.

Meyer's friends and family said they are mourning but still looking for justice

"It's been a rough couple of days, but at least now we know. We can lay her to rest and we can fight for justice," Tonya Meyer said.

The family has not yet announced a date for Meyer's funeral. 

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