Deputy dies in wreck near Washburn

Friday, April 7, 2017

Sgt. Cosper's patrol car hits school bus while responding to call

A master sergeant for the Barry County Sheriff's Office died on Friday in a wreck at 10:49 a.m. on Highway 37 at Farm Road 1060, half a mile south of Washburn.

According to a Missouri State Highway Patrol report, Sgt. Carl Cosper, 56, of Pineville, was driving his 2016 Ford Explorer southbound on Highway 37 when an eastbound Southwest school district bluebird school bus, being driven by William Reeves, 60, of Seligman, attempted a left turn, causing Cosper's vehicle to strike the bus.

Cosper was pronounced dead by Dr. K. D. Cox at Mercy Hospital in Cassville at 12:09 p.m.

Reeves was not injured, and no children were on the school bus at the time of the wreck.

Cosper was not wearing a safety device, and Reeves was. The patrol vehicle was totaled, and the school bus sustained moderate damage.

Sgt. John Lueckenhoff, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, one of seven troopers assisting at the scene, said Cosper was en route to a domestic disturbance call east of Seligman. Lueckenhoff said Cosper's emergency lights were on, and the siren switch was in the on position but not working following the crash.

"The siren was off after the crash, but the switch was on," he said. "The crash team will do an investigation to reconstruct the wreck. That takes about 30-60 days."

Cosper was a patrol officer with the Sheriff's Office for the past 10 years. He also served as the office's training and firearms instructor. He was a conceal and carry instructor and well known within the community for the classes he taught. 

"Besides his training rolls, he was also a friend and a mentor to his fellow workers," a Sheriff's Office statement said. "His passing is a big loss to our department. He was a big man with an even bigger heart and will be missed by his law enforcement family. Our prayers are with the Cosper family."

Lueckenhoff said Reeves has not receive a ticket at this point, but if there were charges, they would likely be only traffic violations.

More information about this story will be released as it becomes available.

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