A Bolivar teenager faces manslaughter and assault charges following a fatal crash on U.S. 65 earlier this year.
According to online court records, Mikaila Nicole Koch, 18, is charged with class C felony first-degree involuntary manslaughter and class D felony second-degree assault in Greene County Circuit Court.
The probable cause statement, filed by the Springfield Police Department, said Koch was involved in a crash near mile marker 52.8 on U.S. 65, within Springfield city limits, at around 7 p.m. Monday, May 13.
“The vehicle driven by Koch, a 2011 Dodge Durango, rear-ended a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze driven by Clorissa Spring Tilden,” the statement said.
The Dodge’s Event Data Recorder shows the vehicle was traveling at 86 miles per hour “with 30% accelerator pedal” five seconds before the crash.
“At 4.6 seconds before the crash, the accelerator pedal is released to 0%,” the statement said, which is consistent with Koch’s statements she was adjusting bags in the passenger seat and floor board of her vehicle three seconds before the wreck.
Less than a second before the crash, the Dodge had slowed to 81 mph, but Koch then applied the accelerator pedal to 100% and turned the wheel “41 degrees to the left,” the statement said.
When Koch hit the Chevrolet from behind, it veered right off the roadway and struck a guardrail end.
The collision with the guardrail end resulted in the death of an 11-year-old passenger in the Chevrolet, the statement said.
The deceased juvenile’s name has been redacted from court records.
The statement said “Koch’s speed immediately before and at the time of the crash, as well as her inattention immediately before striking the Chevrolet Cruze driven by Tilden, demonstrates reckless mishandling of her vehicle, which ultimately caused the death of (the 11-year-old child).”
Tilden also suffered injuries in the crash, including a fracture in the bone under her eye, the statement said.
Koch’s warrant, which carries a $2,500 bond, was served in Polk County on Saturday, Nov. 2. As of press time Tuesday, no future court date had been set.