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Friday, April 18, 2008

Driver Sentenced for Tow Truck Driver's Death

Here's an excerpt from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (click here for the full story):

Christopher Cottrell, whose heavy-equipment truck struck and killed a wrecker operator in a hit-and-run incident in Des Peres last year, was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison.

Cottrell, 40, of Fenton, pleaded guilty Thursday in St. Louis County Circuit Court of involuntary manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident, driving with a suspended license and marijuana possession. The sentence was imposed by Judge Colleen Dolan as part of a plea agreement.

Tow-truck driver Aaron Helfrich, 32, of Festus, was working at noon last April 30 on the shoulder of Interstate 270, just south of Manchester Road, when he was struck by a tractor-trailer and killed instantly. The driver who hit him did not stop.

The manslaughter charge alleged that Cottrell was criminally negligent in that he failed to maintain his vehicle in a single lane.

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