COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
One man is suffering from life-threatening injuries after a crash in Boone County on Wednesday.
Jamey E. Sheppard, 42, of Columbia was taken to University Hospital after the vehicle he was driving crashed head-on with a vehicle Travis W. Mechlin, 30, of Columbia was driving.
Columbia police arrested Mechlin on suspicion of driving while intoxicated causing serious physical injury.
Former prosecutor, Bill Tackett said charges in these types of DWI cases can change depending on the injuries and any prior convictions.
"If there are any prior convictions the sentencing gets enhanced. So, based on whether you have a prior record or the extent of the injuries in a DWI crash, those two things can escalate your punishment dramatically," Tackett said.
"In a case where you have a DWI or you have somebody who's in serious or critical condition the initial charge is driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence. If that person then passes away, the charges change. It's upgraded to a manslaughter in this particular case."
Sheppard's sister said on Thursday it is too soon to tell what the impact from the crash on their family will be.
"The doctor said if he pulls through this, he will have a very long road to recovery. Very very long road. The next 48-64 hours are crucial in determining what happens next," she said.
ABC 17 News reached out to the Boone County Prosecutor Thursday to learn if any charges have been filed against Mechlin, but did not hear back.