December 10, 2007
Officer Down: Transport Officer Laura A. Whittingham
Officer Down: Transport Officer Laura A. Whittingham - [Howell County, Missouri]
Cause of Death: Automobile Accident
Additional Information: Officer Whittingham was a volunteer transport officer for the Howell County Sheriff's Department and was enrolled in the sheriff's academy to become a full time deputy. She is survived by her husband and five children.
Incident Details: Transport Officer Laura Whittingham was killed in an automobile accident as she and another deputy were returning two inmates to Howell County from a Missouri Department of Corrections facility.
Their patrol car went out of control as it crossed a bridge on U.S. 63 in Texas County. It is believed that severe weather and ice were contributing factors to the cause of the crash.
Officer Whittingham and the deputy were both transported to a local hospital in extremely critical condition, where Officer Whittingham later passed away. One of the inmates was also killed in the accident and the other was seriously injured.
End of Watch: Thursday, December 6, 2007
Mo. transport officer dies in crash
The Howell County Sheriff's Office
HOWELL COUNTY, Mo. — On Thursday, Dec. 6 at approximately 4:30 p.m., a Howell County Sheriff's Office patrol car was involved in a two car crash just south of Houston, Missouri on U.S. Highway 63.
A Howell County prisoner transport guard, Laura J. Whittingham, age 35, and a female prisoner, Lisa G. Oliver, 36, were both fatally injured.
Deputy Sheriff Dennis D. Maddux, 53, and a male prisoner, Larry A. Marsh, 33, were both seriously injured and transported from Texas County Memorial Hospital in Houston to Springfield hospitals.
At last report Deputy Maddux was listed in critical condition. No further report was available on Marsh.
Sheriff Robbie Crites stated, "First, our thoughts and prayers go to the families of both Laura and Ms. Oliver. Laura was the only female student in the new Sheriffs' Academy and was well liked by her classmates and instructors. She always wanted to 'out do the boys', and usually did.
"She has helped us out on numerous transports and was a good guard, very conscious of her duty. She will be missed both professionally and personally. My thoughts are with her husband, children and the rest of her family."
"We're also thinking of Dennis and Mr. Marsh. Dennis is an extremely professional deputy, a hard worker and highly thought of by fellow employees and supervisors. Our prayers are with him for a speedy recovery."
Both prisoners were being transported back to the Howell County Jail from the Missouri Department of Corrections for further court action in Howell County.
The traffic accident is being investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Major Crash Squad.
Sheriff Crites also added, "I want thank Sheriff Carl Watson and his deputies, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the doctors and staff at Texas County Memorial Hospital, and everyone else who were so helpful to me and our people in a very difficult time."