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Birch Tree teen charged in Thayer girl's death

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Meghan L. Honeycutt
Eighteen months ago when a Thayer teen was killed in a head-on crash near Alton, it was thought she was driving one of the cars.

New evidence suggests she was instead a passenger. The driver, now 19, will be arraigned this month on involuntary manslaughter charges.

Meghan L. Honeycutt, 16, died in the 10:30 p.m. March 5, 2010, crash that also involved her twin sister, Morgan Honeycutt, and two Birch Tree teens, William C. Heilman and Ely D. Dotson, both then 17.

The initial report states that Dotson's eastbound 2001 Oldsmobile Alero crossed the centerline about 2 miles east of Alton. Meghan Honeycutt, it was reported, was westbound in a 1999 Toyota Celica with her sister and Heilman as passengers when the cars collided, ejecting her.

Meghan Honeycutt, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene by Oregon County coroner Tom Clary. Her sister, Dotson and Heilman were seriously injured.

Further investigation by the Missouri Highway Patrol indicates Heilman was driving the Toyota with Meghan Honeycutt as the front-seat passenger and Morgan Honeycutt seated behind Heilman.

In March 2011, the Honeycutt's parents, Steve and Lisa Honeycutt of Thayer, were awarded a judgement in a Howell County wrongful death civil case against Dodson and Heilman.

A probable cause statement in the criminal case against Heilman states that surveillance video from Alton Quick Connection convenience store shows Heilman in the Toyota driver's seat as the car headed west on 160, followed by Dotson's Oldsmobile.

Blood recovered from the Toyota's driver-seat airbag also allegedly matches Heilman's blood, according to court records.

The report further indicates that authorities questioned Dotson and Heilman about the two playing a game known as "Criss Cross Chicken" on Highway 160 at the time of the crash. Dotson and Heilman both denied participation in the game, citing it as "dangerous."

Heilman is set to be arraigned in Oregon County Circuit Court at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 28 with Judge Don Henry on felony second-degree involuntary manslaughter charges.

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It;s about time

-- Posted by camojoe on Sat, Dec 17, 2011, at 2:30 PM

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