NEAR HIGHLANDVILLE, Mo. -- A motorcyclist injured in a crash that killed another motorcyclist says he is frustrated a driver involved does not face charges.
The crash happened March 27 on U.S. 65 south of Highlandville. A car driven by Douglas Dale, 48, crossed the median, killing biker Jim Roe on impact. Another biker, Jerry McLaughlin, suffered serious injuries. He filed a civil lawsuit agains the driver. Mike Jones suffered several injuries, to both of his wrists and both of his legs. He spent two weeks in the hospital and six weeks in rehabilitation. But his right leg didn't heal correctly. Doctors amputated it about five inches below the knee in August.
Jones and his wife are frustrated that the driver, Douglas Dale, has not faced any criminal charges. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says Dale had a seizure, causing the crash. But the Jones say investigators told them that Dale had no insurance, was driving on a hardship license after a previous DWI, and had not been taking his seizure medication.
"I don't understand why he was on the road," said Jones. "You know. They say that he had a seizure, but he hadn't been taking his seizure medication," says Jones.
The Missouri Department of Revenue says Dale was found driving with a .329 BAC in April 2018 and again in November 2018 with a .309 BAC. He still had a license in March 2019 because he was fighting his DWI cases. Dale was not found under the influence in the crash. His license was taken away in May 2019 because of a recommendation that he should not be driving.
"I don't hate him by no means," says Mike's wife Gail. "I wish him well, but in the same token, he's responsible. And he needs to pay the fiddler is my opinion here. He has a record that appears that appears he needs to learn what a good citizen, good person is, so I'm hoping that gets corrected."
The highway patrol submitted a probable cause statement to the Chrisitan County prosecutor in the crash, recommending criminal charges.
Christian County Prosecutor Amy Fite says she cannot speak to the case and why charges have not been filed, but says the case review process can vary. In some, prosecutors file charges right away, in others they decline, and in others they need more information, which can take months. She also says her office has a backlog of cases.
She says while investigators only need probable cause, prosecutors need evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. "We are trying to make the best decision, the most appropriate decision, the fair and just decision, and so sometimes it's just takes longer than you would hope," says Fite.