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Following a six-month investigation by Sgt. Keith Jones and Trooper Rob Crewse of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a 21-year old Ava man, Leslie W. Heriford, Jr., has been charged with vehicular assault for an incident occurring on June 30, 2011.
According to the probable cause statement filed with the case by Prosecuting Attorney Roger Wall, speed and falling asleep were the two main factors involved in the crash which nearly took the life of an Ava woman.
Crystal Lee suffered severe injuries and has had to undergo several surgeries following the wreck that occurred south of Ava on Highway 5.
Since the accident, Heriford has been arrested by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department for a narcotics offense and is currently enrolled in an in-patient program for youthful offenders while out on bond.
According to the police and toxicology reports, Wall stated that apparently drugs and alcohol were not factors in the serious three-car accident, which resulted in a virtual head-on impact between the Lee and Heriford vehicles.
Vehicular assault is a Class C felony, which carries up to seven years in the Department of Corrections and/or a fine of up to $5,000.