ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – A 39-year-old Troy, Missouri man was charged Tuesday in connection with a fatal road rage altercation that occurred over the weekend along westbound Interstate 64. However, investigators said he’s not yet in custody.
According to a spokesperson with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the attack happened around 11:30 a.m. Sunday on I-64 near Highway K. O’Fallon police and state police found the 68-year-old victim unconscious at the scene in a Ford F-150 pickup truck.
The victim was hospitalized and later died from his injuries, state police said. He was identified as Ron Lawson of Winfield, Missouri.
Witnesses told investigators that Lawson and was traveling westbound on the interstate when he pulled over to the right shoulder along with the driver of a 2019 Dodge Ram pickup.
Both Lawson and the other man exited their trucks and approached one another. The other man punched Lawson in the face, knocking him to the asphalt of the right lane of the interstate. The man picked Lawson up, punched him again, then placed Lawson back inside his truck. The assailant fled before police and medical personnel arrived.
A description of the suspect’s truck was broadcast on Monday. State police received tips about the truck, leading them to trace the license plate and registration of the 2019 Dodge Ram to Joshua David O’Keefe of Troy.
After contacting O’Keefe’s place of employment for additional information, state police went to O’Keefe’s residence to speak with him but he was not home. O’Keefe’s wife arrived at the home driving the 2019 Dodge Ram pickup and she was unaware of her husband’s whereabouts. State police attempted to reach O’Keefe on his cellphone to no avail.
On Tuesday, state police contacted original witnesses with surveillance images of O’Keefe’s truck. Those witnesses confirmed that was the vehicle they saw on Sunday.
The St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged O’Keefe with one count of second-degree murder.
Police said O’Keefe has prior arrests and convictions over the years, including DWI, robbery, drug possession, and assault. In 2019, he was arrested for another assault and resisting arrest. He was sentenced in that case in July 2020 and received a suspended sentence and two years of probation.
Anyone with information on O’Keefe’s whereabouts is asked to contact their nearest law enforcement agency by dialing 911 or call the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop C at 636-300-2800.
In the meantime, a GoFundMe has been established to help the Lawson family with funeral expenses.