Anthony Peccoux, 32, brought a new enthusiasm and youthful exuberance to the wine industry in mid-Missouri. His task of revitalizing Missouri's grape industry was cut tragically short by a single-car accident in Boone County, Mo., along U.S. Highway 63. The Frenchman was pronounced dead at University Hospital less than an hour after the Missouri Highway Patrol came upon the crash.
* The online crash report states Peccoux's 2013 Volkswagen Jetta was northbound on U.S. Highway 63 when the vehicle went off the right side of the road. The car hit a concrete culvert just south of Turkey Creek.
* Peccoux was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Damage to the vehicle was listed as "moderate." The fatality was the fifth for the month of November for Troop F and 56th for the year in the area.
* The jovial professor will be missed by his colleagues, even though he was only with the University of Missouri less than a year. Ingolf Gruen, the program chair for Mizzou's food science program, told the Columbia Daily Tribune, "He had a huge enthusiasm. He was very exuberant, outgoing."
* Among other grant projects, Peccoux was attempting to secure federal money from Congress to the tune of $5.5 million to boost Missouri's wine industry. The professor was slated to give a presentation at a grape and wine symposium on the university campus next month.
* MU Chancellor Brady Deaton told the Tribune he was "saddened to learn of the death ... Dr. Peccoux was an enthusiastic, respected and well-liked member of our university community although he had only been at MU for a short time."
* The Columbia Missourian also quotes Gruen, who also serves as the interim director of the Grape and Wine Institute at Mizzou. "He believed Missouri had the genetic material, the native grapes necessary to support and allow the wine industry to survive worldwide despite global warming," Gruen said. Peccoux also presented hundreds of research ideas for his department after just nine months on the job.
* Peccoux learned his viticulture expertise from France and Germany. The professor studied with Dr. Hans Reiner Schulz at the Geisenheim Research Centre in Germany before getting advanced degrees at the University of Bordeaux in France. Peccoux also did work for the French National Institute for Agricultural Research.
* One recent piece written by Peccoux shows how Missouri's grape and wine industry uses a wide variety of grapes due to Missouri's erratic climate and wild temperature changes between seasons. The paper shows the Norton variety of grape to be most widespread in Missouri at slightly more than 19 percent based upon acreage grown.
* The accident happened on a straight stretch of road in between Columbia Regional Airport and Columbia, Mo. The driver was headed in the direction of the city. A search of Google Map's street view shows a line of slight hills to the right of the highway. A few small culverts come out from under the highway just south of the creek, which has guardrails ahead of a bridge.
William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.
- Missouri Highway Patrol