Highway patrol maintains safety stance after latest trooper death

2 years 9 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, September 24 2015 Sep 24, 2015 Thursday, September 24, 2015 6:20:00 PM CDT September 24, 2015 in News
By: Louie Kaczmarek, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - After Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper James Bava died from an on-duty automobile accident in late August, questions are surfacing about the safety of the unit.

"I feel if someone needs to call backup, they should," Columbia resident Trevor Wilson said. "But nothing's worth a life."

Corporal Scott White of Troop F said Bava called dispatch to report a motorcyclist committing a traffic violation. Officials found his body and demolished vehicle later that day on State Highway FF.

"Any time the patrol loses a member, it's devastating for all of us," White said. "We all wear the same uniform, we've all gone through the same training."

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, since 1930, 31 Missouri Highway Patrol troopers have died on duty. Of Missouri's eight neighboring states, Illinois has the highest number of highway patrol fatalities with 61. Oklahoma and Tennessee also have more than Missouri, with 35 and 40 respectively.

Despite the numbers, Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Ethan Mueller believes the unit keeps overall safety a top priority.

"I'm not sure, and can't speak about how the other states' highway patrols operate," Mueller said. "But with us, it starts at training, and getting where we need to go safely stays at the top of the list."

Bava's death was the first in four years, the longest gap between trooper deaths since 1988-1993. Mueller acknowledged the danger of the job and said every other trooper does the same every day.

"You know that every day when you come to work, you're not exactly sure what you're going to see, what the day's going to bring," Mueller said. "So you just go in prepared for that and ready to take on the challenge of whatever may be."

Mueller said 17 of the 31 trooper deaths in the line of duty were from "some form of a traffic crash." Wilson understands the danger of working as a trooper but still hopes to join that line of work some day.

"With freak accidents, I think it becomes a ‘wrong place, wrong time' thing," Wilson said. "I still want to be that person to lend a hand to those in need when they need it."

In terms of overall safety, Mueller said Missouri is on the right track, but he maintained it is extremely important for Missourians to stay careful on the road.

"We could be completely aware of our surroundings and have someone texting while driving, not even see us and hit one of us," Mueller said. "It's important both us and all the other drivers keep their eyes open so we can be around to keep them safe."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - An arrest for suspicion of filing a false report has been made in connection to a reported robbery... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:44:28 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - After four days of searching, Jerry Kinman has been found dead near Little Dixie Lake. Kinman,... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:19:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
STURGEON - The carnival rides at the Boone County Fair closed unexpectedly just hours after the fair opened because they... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:00:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A democratic candidate for Missouri's fourth congressional district criticized the Republican incumbent Tuesday for her lack of action... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 6:46:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce harshly criticized the city council at Monday night's meeting regarding projects being put... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 6:41:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hy-Vee recalled its Spring Pasta Salad from 244 stores on Tuesday. Company officials said 20 illnesses by... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 5:54:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
MEXICO - Josh Hawley faced questions about President Donald Trump's summit with Russia as well as tariffs facing Missouri farmers... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 5:31:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY – Expecting mothers in Boone County will soon have more services at their disposal. The county received... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:16:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Grain Belt Express Clean Line, a proposed energy transmission project through northern Missouri, got new life... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:59:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - A child identification program wants to help parents be as prepared as possible in the event that a... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:41:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Nineteen agencies received more than $115,000 in grant money Tuesday from the United Way of Central Missouri.... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:56:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some people may notice their trash laying out on the curb for longer than usual on Tuesday. ... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:12:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - A car chase which started in Cole County on Tuesday ended in Columbia with two arrests. ... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:22:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The group fighting a ballot measure that would make Missouri a right-to-work state has outraised its... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:17:30 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say two planes carrying more than 250 passengers made emergency landings at Kansas City International... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:11:34 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police records related to the shooting death of Rovon Blocker suggest the incident appeared to be accidental. ... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:39:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Three Fulton men are in custody after being charged with stealing and drug offenses, in connection to... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:01:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
FULTON - A judge sentenced a man convicted of a dozen sex crimes, some involving children, to sixty years in... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 8:05:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
2am 74°
3am 73°
4am 72°
5am 71°