ST. CLAIR, Mo. – An investigation is underway after a man was found dead in a county jail hours after a car crash.
The St. Clair Police Department in Missouri responded to several 911 calls Friday night about a car weaving in and out of both lanes of traffic on Interstate 44. Officers said they found a crashed car in the woodline, not far from the interstate.
“During that investigation, they found the driver to be under the influence of some type of intoxication,” said Chief Michael Wirt for the St. Clair Police Department.
An arrest report showed that 43-year-old Christopher Cox of Lebanon, Missouri, was taken into custody on Friday at 10:41 p.m.
Wirt said while at the scene, EMS cleared Cox, but officers still took him to Mercy Hospital before going to jail.
“Any time somebody’s intoxicated or it seems like a higher level of intoxication, more than just what a normal person would be,” Wirt said. “We take them to the hospital get a fit for confinement.”
Officers then transported Cox to the Franklin County jail just after 1 a.m. on Saturday.
He was booked on charges of driving while intoxicated, operating a vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner, causing an accident, and driving while suspended.
Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton wrote on the department’s Facebook page that while deputies were passing out lunch on Saturday around 12:25 p.m., they found Cox unresponsive and immediately started CPR. About 37 minutes later, the 43-year-old man was pronounced dead.
“Currently, there is nothing obvious as to the cause of death,” Pelton said on Facebook.
The body was taken to the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Pelton did not respond to FOX 2’s request for an interview.
A spokesperson for Mercy Hospital released the following statement:
“Our sympathy goes to the Cox family, and our prayers are with them. We will continue to work with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department as they investigate this tragic situation. Due to patient privacy laws, we cannot address any details of patient care.”