New Bloomfield officer hit in drunk driving crash dies

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NEW BLOOMFIELD - New Bloomfield police officer Michael Tufts died Saturday night from injuries he suffered after being hit during a 2012 drunk driving accident.

Tufts was in a coma for roughly 20 months before he died.

Tufts was off duty when his vehicle was hit by then 20-year-old Spencer Gordon on Providence Road near the Hinkson Creek Bridge in Columbia.

Two other people were injured in the accident, one of which died at the scene.

In June, Gordon was found guilty of first-degree involuntary manslaughter and two counts of second-degree assault. He was sentenced to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

New Bloomfield Police Chief Chris Hammann said Tufts was an officer who was always eager to take on more hours.

"Mr. Tufts, he was young, he was eager, he had always wanted to be a police officer" said Hammann, "that's all he ever wanted to do."

Hammann says Tufts was a designated driver for friends the night the accident occurred. 

Hammann says his department is trying to put together a special memorial service for Tufts.

"We're looking to have a good procession from Columbia to St. Louis to his final resting place, it's just been an overwhelming response," said Hammann.

Two visitation services will be held for Tufts: 4-8 p.m. Friday, August 29th and 9-11 a.m. Saturday, August 30th at Memorial Funeral Home in Columbia.