Purdy man to be sentenced in connection with fatal crash

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Purdy man will be sentenced today (Wednesday, Feb. 13) for his role in a drunk driving crash that claimed the life of a 10-year-old girl.

Gregory Swaffar, 28, will appear for sentencing in Ozark before Christian County Circuit Court Judge Mark Estle Orr at 1 p.m. Swaffar pleaded guilty on Jan. 2 to two counts of second-degree assault and one count of murder in the second degree. His case was transferred from Barry County to Christian County in January 2012 on a change of venue.

According to reports from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the fatal crash occurred a mile south of Butterfield at 11:40 p.m. on Feb. 19, 2011, when Swaffar's 1999 Dodge Dakota pickup crossed the center line of Highway 37 and struck a 1995 Mercury Sable, driven by Kenneth M. Keif, 33, of Washburn, head on.

Kief and his daughter, Melissa Keif, 10, were flown to Cox Hospital South in Springfield with serious injuries. Melissa Keif later died from the injuries she sustained in the crash. Swaffar was not hurt, but his passenger, Sandra S. Larson, 46, of Shell Knob, was seriously injured.

The day after the crash, Swaffar was charged with driving while intoxicated, involuntary manslaughter (second degree murder) and two counts of assault in the second degree.

Swaffar's arrest on the DWI charge was not his first.

According to online court records, Swaffar pleaded guilty in March 2009 to another DWI charge in connection with a Dec. 20, 2008, incident. Swaffar was placed on two years unsupervised probation and ordered to perform 20 hours of community service.

In August 2010, Swaffar pleaded guilty in Cassville Municipal Court to a charge of excessive blood alcohol content. He was fined $107 for that offense.

At the time of the fatal crash in February of 2011, Swaffar was awaiting disposition on a third DWI charge filed in July 2010. He was charged at that time as a prior offender.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: