Hawk Point, Mo. - A local man is facing serious charges after a late-morning crash on Nov. 22 left one man dead, and a woman in serious condition.
At around 11:30 a.m., a 2007 Infiniti G35 driven by 56-year-old Timothy Durbin was heading eastbound on Highway A, while a 2001 Saturn SL1 was being driven westbound by Racheal Koch, 30, of Hawk Point.
For reasons still under investigation, the two cars collided head-on in the center lane near Marlyn Lane.
Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers arrived at the scene shortly after the crash. The passenger in the Saturn, Jesse Davis, 29, of Hawk Point, was found dead in the front seat of his injuries.
A trooper attempted to make contact with Durbin in the back of an ambulance. Ambulance personnel informed the trooper Durbin had been drinking. When asked what happened, Durbin said the Saturn came into his lane. Durbin continued to say he tried to avoid the vehicle, but the Saturn swerved back into his lane and hit his vehicle.
Durbin admitted to having a drink earlier in the morning.
Due to the severity of the crash, and Durbin’s admission to consuming alcohol, as well as the EMT informing the trooper Durbin had been drinking, the trooper asked Durbin to submit to a Preliminary Breath Test, to which Durbin agreed to do.
The test indicated a blood alcohol content of .105. At about 12:20 p.m., Durbin was arrested for driving while intoxicated, before he was airlifted to Mercy Hospital St. Louis.
However, after being read implied consent at the hospital, Durbin refused to submit a blood sample.
Durbin has been charged with involuntary manslaughter by prosecutors. Bond was set at $250,000, cash only for Durbin, who has three prior arrests for DWI, including two convictions - all out of St. Charles County.
If convicted on the charge, he can face up to 10 years in prison. At press time, he remains hospitalized in serious condition at Mercy St. Louis.
“Obviously, he knew better, considering his history,” Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Wood said. “(Durbin) just made a tragic mistake unfortunately, and now he’s going to have to face time for it.”
Wood also said more charges might be filed as well in this case, and he thanked MSHP Trooper Aaron Borgic for his assistance in Durbin’s arrest.
“I have to give credit to Trooper Borgic,” Wood said. “He’s done a great job with this case, and keeping in contact with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.”
Koch was transported to Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, where she was listed in serious condition.
“Cases like this are very tragic. It’s difficult to anticipate,” Wood said. “For people who face alcoholism, we try to find treatment for them - and we push our law enforcement officers to emphasize drinking and driving is not a victimless crime.”
(All persons charged with a crime are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.)