Man charged with murder after crash kills 1, injures 5

The incident happened around 5:15 p.m. Sunday outside a home at 612 S West Street.
The incident happened around 5:15 p.m. Sunday outside a home at 612 S West Street.
Joseph Thornton (Source: Missouri Vinelink)
Joseph Thornton (Source: Missouri Vinelink)

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Police say one man is dead and five other people were injured after being struck by a car late Sunday afternoon in Sikeston.

Joseph Thornton, 25, of Sikeston is charged with first degree murder, armed criminal action, and five counts of first degree assault.

The incident happened around 5:15 p.m. Sunday outside a home at 612 S West Street.

According to Sikeston DPS Captain Jim McMillen, there was an altercation at a family gathering and the suspect was asked to leave. The homeowner and one of the victims told police he had asked Thornton, his cousin, to leave because he was "being obnoxious toward another guest."

"In less than a minute I came out the door, I heard yelling," said Mark Foster, a neighbor.

According to the probable cause statement, witnesses describe the suspect got into a car, backed up until he was in the middle of the street, stopped for a short time, then sped toward the home.

"He plowed his way between the two cars," Foster said. "There was probably 10 people between the cars."

Witnesses say they did not see any brake light on the car until it had already struck the home. Some witnesses heard the engine racing after it hit the house.

"When it happened, there was probably 15 to 20 people over there," Foster said. "Within 15 minutes, there was probably 100 people around."

The car struck and injured several people, according to McMillen. McMillen says three children were injured. Two of the children are three years old. One child is four years old. One child was listed in serious condition. Two other people were listed in serious condition, and one person had moderate injuries.

Witnesses say there was a helicopter on the scene.

According to the probable cause statement, Thornton's speech was slurred, his eyes were glassy and bloodshot, and he was unstable while walking when police arrested him.

Thornton's wife told police their daughter was in the back seat of the car during the incident, according to the probable cause statement.

Thornton has a history of DWI, resisting arrest, assault, domestic assault, and robbery.

The Missouri Highway Patrol Major Crash Team was on the scene outside of the home in the city limits of Sikeston, according to Trooper Clark Parrott.

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