Jackson man charged with manslaughter after crash killed 17-year-old

Jackson man charged with manslaughter after crash killed 17-year-old
Bobby Joe Abernathy (Source: Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Office)
Bobby Joe Abernathy (Source: Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Office)

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - A Jackson man faces a manslaughter charge a 17-year-old girl was killed in a crash in April.

Bobby Joe Abernathy, 34, of Jackson is charged with involuntary manslaughter 1st degree and assault 2nd degree.

Abernathy is accused of being under the influence of marijuana and methamphetamine at the time of the crash.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says a 17-year-old girl died after a crash on Highway 34 between Jackson and Marble Hill, Mo. on April 5.

This was just west of Route U and 34 intersection in Cape Girardeau County.

Multiple fire crews and emergency responders were called to the scene.

According to Mo. Highway Patrol Trooper Clark Parrot, one vehicle was on fire, two people were trapped, and one person was confirmed dead.

The highway patrol says a delivery truck driven by Bobby J. Abernathy crossed the center line and hit a 2000 Toyota Four-Runner driven by Erin L. Cordell, 18, from Marble Hill.

Also in the delivery truck was Eric A. Smith, 22, from Jackson. He and Abernathy had moderate injuries and were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Amelia H. Fisher, 17, from Glen Allen was pronounced dead at the scene by the Cape Girardeau County Coroner John Clifton. She was a passenger in the SUV.

Fisher and Cordell were not wearing seat belts, according to the Highway Patrol. Cordell was taken to the hospital by ambulance with moderate injuries.

Witnesses on the scene say a man who was in a truck helped put out the fire in the box truck and then went to help the people in the SUV.

Witnesses told police the white box truck was swerving in and out of its lane for a few miles before the crash.

A passenger in the box truck told police he saw Abernathy "smoking marijuana with a glass pipe" about 30 minutes before the crash, according to the probably cause statement.

Blood samples taken from Abernathy after the crash confirm he had marijuana and meth in his system, according to court documents.

His bond is set at $75,000 and he must wear a monitoring device.

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