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Drug charges filed after fatal Moniteau County crash

Drug charges filed after fatal Moniteau County crash

October 5th, 2018 by Staff Reports in Local News

Two California residents are facing charges after a fatal crash last month in Moniteau County.

Joshua Kirchner, 22, and Abigail Heiland, 21, each were charged with one count of delivery of methamphetamine, according to Moniteau County Sheriff's Department reports.

The crash occurred Sept. 25 on U.S. 50 near Scott Branch Road, just west of California.

Kirchner was driving westbound when he struck the rear of a vehicle driven by Jose Perez, 29, of Jefferson City, according to a Missouri Highway Patrol report. Kirchner then crossed the road and collided nearly head-on with a vehicle driven by Steven Smart, 60, of Tebbetts, heading eastbound.

Perez traveled off the right side of the road, overcorrected, crossed the center line and struck Smart's truck.

Smart was pronounced dead at the scene.

Perez was arrested about half an hour after the crash for driving while intoxicated and not having a license.

While at the scene of the accident, Moniteau County deputies were notified by ambulance and fire personnel that Kirchner and Heiland kept asking about a black bag they had with them and seemed very concerned about its contents.

Deputies located the bag and detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from it. They searched the bag and found "a substantial amount of methamphetamine" along with marijuana, digital scales and packaging materials commonly used to distribute drugs, according to Sheriff's Department reports.

As of Friday, Kirchner and Heiland each were being held on a $75,000 bond.