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Update: Motorcyclist involved in deadly trooper crash found

The motorcyclist involved in the crash that killed a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper Friday has been found.

ABC 17 News confirmed a trooper with the Missouri State Highway Patrol died in a car crash Friday morning in Audrain County near the Boone County line.

MoDOT closed Highway FF between County Road 989 and Route M for several hours after the crash at Highway FF and County Road 977. Corporal Scott White told ABC 17 News the patrol car for Trooper James Bava, 25, was the only vehicle at the scene.

Around 8:30 a.m., Bava radioed he saw a motorcyclist commit a traffic violation on Route FF. Operators at Troop F headquarters in Jefferson City tried to contact Bava by radio and didn’t get a response.

At 8:35, Troop F got a report of a Highway Patrol vehicle crashed on Route FF. Emergency responders arrived at the scene and confirmed Bava had been killed in the crash.

Troopers found and interviewed the motorcyclist involved in the crash, Cpl. Scott White with the highway patrol said. The motorcyclist was not taken into custody. His name is not being released, White said.

Saturday, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said Bava drove off the left side of the road, hit several trees and rolled. His vehicle then caught on fire.

Highway Patrol’s major crash investigation unit is still investigating the cause of the crash.

Governor Nixon has ordered flags statewide to be lowered to half-staff at all patrol facilities through Bava’s funeral.

“The death of Trooper Bava is a reminder of the dangers that the members of Missouri’s law enforcement community face each time they put on their uniforms, and how they willingly put themselves in harm’s way,” Gov. Nixon said.

The highway patrol will forward the crash report to the Audrain County Prosecutor’s office when the investigation is completed, White said.

Video clarification: In the video version of this story, ABC 17 News said Bava’s death is the first trooper death in Missouri since 1981. To clarify, Bava’s death is the first death in Highway Patrol’s Troop F jurisdiction since 1981. There have been trooper deaths in other jurisdictions since then.

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