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Charges filed in flagman's death

Friday, October 17, 2008

The death of a highway construction flagman has led to charges being filed against an Indianapolis, Ind., man.

Edward J. Lafleur, 57, has been charged with a class C felony involuntary manslaughter and class C felony assault in the second degree.

According to a probable cause statement from Oregon County Prosecuting Attorney, Fred Oneill's office, Sgt. Ray Rees of Troop G investigated the accident that resulted in Lefleur being charged.

In his accident report Rees reported a 2005 Freightliner, driven by Lafleur, drove into a well-signed construction zone on U.S. 63 north of Thayer Sept. 25. Rees reported there were workers present and five separate warning signs warning the driver of the road construction.

Rees said Lafleur failed to appropriately reduce his speed as he drove through the work zone and approached the rear of two vehicles stopped for a flagman.

Lafleur struck the rear of one of the stopped vehicles, a Chevrolet Blazer driven by Deborah G. Holloway, causing it to overturn in the roadway, injuring Holloway. Holloway was transported to Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, Ark., for treatment.

The trooper said the flagman, Mikey W. Workman, ran from the roadway into a ditch as the Freightliner ran off the right side of the road and overturned. The trailer towed by the Freightliner, came to rest on Workman and killed him. According to the prosecuting attorney's office, a court date for Lafleur has yet to be set.

The charges against Lafleur were filed Oct. 8 and a spokesperson from the prosecutor's office said a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Jeffery A. Crider, 25, of Koshkonong, Mo., has been charged with class C felony burglary and stealing in connection with an incident that occurred Aug. 14.

In a probable cause statement from the prosecutor's office, Oregon County Chief Deputy Eric King stated that on Aug. 8, Charles Aikens reported someone had stolen approximately $1,600 of tools and wire from a building he owns at the junction of Route T and Highway 160 in Oregon County.

King said on Aug. 14, Crider sold a nail gun taken in burglary to West Plains Pawn. He said the nail gun was identified by the serial number. Crider allegedly told Kenton Treat, owner of the pawn shop, that he was clearing out a storage unit and wanted to sell the nail gun. Treat bought the nail gun for $100. The value of the gun is approximately $300. A warrant has been issued for Crider's arrest.

Larry R. Riggs, 45, of Alton was arrested on Oct. 3 after the Oregon County Sheriff's Office was informed that Riggs has two active felony warrants outstanding from the state of Louisiana. The charges are aggravated rape and sexual battery.

In a probable cause statement from the prosecutor's office, Thayer Assistant Police Chief Michael Bunting said on Oct. 3 he received a phone call from a female who stated Riggs was wanted for rape in Louisiana and that Riggs was at a local business in Thayer.

Bunting said he called Chief Deputy Eric King and King advised him to go to the business and pick him up. Riggs was picked-up by Louisiana authorities Oct. 8 and transported back to Louisiana where he will face the rape and assault charges.

Gigi S. Whaley, 47, of Cordova, Tenn., was arrested Oct. 5, by officers with the Oregon County Sheriff's Office due to an active probation violation from the state of North Carolina for absconding from supervision.

Whaley's original charge was felony possession of cocaine on July 7, 2007. She is currently being held in the Thayer City Jail awaiting extradition back to North Carolina.

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