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News 4 investigation prompts MoDOT to call for driver who caused deadly crash to face consequences

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 6:39 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The head of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) wants the driver in a deadly work zone crash to lose his license and face criminal charges. The claims are in two letters sent after a News 4 investigation exposed growing concerns around the case.

The November crash killed 58-year-old James Brooks and 25-year-old Kaitlyn Anderson, along with her unborn son Jaxx. Anderson was nearly 6 months pregnant at the time. A third worker was left with lifelong injuries.

[https://www.kmov.com/2022/04/05/crash-that-killed-two-modot-workers-prompts-calls-improve-worker-safety/]

“How can he continue to go out and drive knowing he did this?” asked Michael Brown, who survived the work zone crash.

Monday, News 4 learned our investigation led the State of Missouri to make plans to revoke the driver’s license. The driver has not been criminally charged, but MoDOT officials said they are continuing to ask for charges to be filed.

“The guy who came through our zone and hit us needs to be held responsible,” said Brown.

Last week, Brown told News 4 it seems like nothing had been done in the months since the incident. He questions why it’s been months and the driver that caused the crash hasn’t been charged. Public records from the Missouri State Highway Patrol identified the driver as 52-year-old Stanley McFadden from Hillsboro.

Brown’s concerns reached management at MoDOT. After News 4′s interview with him aired, MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna sent two letters – one calling on St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell to charge McFadden and another to Missouri Department of Revenue Director Wayne Wallingford, asking to revoke McFadden’s driver’s license. MoDOT acknowledges the “recent media reports” led McKenna to “follow up” on the case.

[https://www.kmov.com/2022/02/28/family-killed-pregnant-modot-worker-pursues-change-missouri-law/]

In the letter to Bell, McKenna points to the crash reconstruction report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The letter states crash investigators found McFadden “violated at least three state laws.” The state laws cited are aggravated endangerment of a highway worker, exceeding the posted speed limit and failure to wear a properly adjusted and fastened seatbelt. McKenna went on to write “each day that Mr. McFadden goes uncharged is another day that he continues to drive and poses a grave risk to motorists.”

McKenna told News 4 Monday that Bell hasn’t responded to the letter. Bell’s office said they need more time to look into the case. In a statement, Bell said, “I understand MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna’s intentions were to speak up for his employees and their families, especially when they suffer tragedies, as was this case recently. I commend that.” He continued, “our office has an ethical duty to do our due diligence when conducting any and all criminal investigations.”

In the letter to Wallingford, McKenna asks to “immediately order the revocation of Stanley McFadden’s Driver’s License.” He states on the day of the crash, he “disregarded warning equipment” and was “reckless and negligent.”

News 4′s investigation found the deadly crash isn’t listed on McFadden’s Missouri driver record, but there are several speeding tickets. He had so many, that in 1991 his license was suspended for a month. In 2007, records show McFadden was charged with careless and imprudent driving in relation to a crash in Festus.

Monday, McFadden’s Missouri driver record showed revocation pending.

The St. Louis County Prosecutor sent News 4 the following statement:

I understand MODOT Director Patrick McKenna’s intentions were to speak up for his employees and their families, especially when they suffer tragedies, as was the case recently. I commend that. Our hearts go out to those individuals and their families. That said, our office has an ethical duty to do our due diligence when conducting any and all criminal investigations. I have a huge amount of respect for the great and often courageous work of the men and women of MODOT. That said, the men and women of the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s office are also dedicated to the work of justice and public safety. Unfortunately, that work is not always swift. However, we pledge to the residents of St. Louis County to do everything we can, within the limits of the law, to get every case right. In this case, we have not yet received additional records that we requested, so this case remains under advisement. As such, it would irresponsible for us to discuss the case publicly, given that it’s an ongoing and active investigation. Because of the understandable public interest in this case, we will announce when the investigation is concluded and a charging decision has been made. Finally, we understand the grief and impatience of those impacted by this tragedy, but our condolences can’t hurry the process of the investigation or affect our legal judgment.