Charges filed after family of 3 killed in crash in Byrnes Mill


BYRNES MILL, Mo. – A tragedy in Jefferson County. A family of three, including an infant, was killed in a fiery crash late Tuesday night. A driver suspected of DWI is now in custody. The crash happened around 10:45 p.m. in Byrnes Mill off Highway 30 and Upper Byrnes Mill Road.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said two vehicles were traveling east on Highway 30 near Kennerly Park Road. One vehicle struck the back of the other, both vehicles veered off to the right of the road and struck several trees.

Authorities identified the victims as 30-year-old Cordell Williams, a construction worker; his fiancé, 25-year-old Lacey Newton, a mother of three and a factory worker; and their infant son Cordell. The family lived in Bonne Terre.

“Someone decides to play God and take their lives and end it for them. It’s unfair,” said Tiffany Johnson, Williams’ sister-in-law.

“(Lacey) was driving, she had her seat belt on, and the guy hit them from behind. Officers say they lost control and ended in a ditch and their car caught fire instantly.

Late Wednesday afternoon, state police charged David Thurby with three counts of driving while intoxicated leading to the death of non-passengers. Thurby was also charged with operating a motor vehicle in a careless manner and possession of synthetic marijuana.

Thurby suffered only minor injuries in the crash.

The victims’ family said it’s a night that changed their lives forever.

“It was unexpected, but more when someone careless and reckless makes a simple decision. You could take a Uber or walk home but you also took a 4-month-old baby,” Johnson said.

The victim’s family members have set up a GoFundMe page to assist with funeral expenses.

David Thurby

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