Drunken driver in Joplin injury crash sent to prison

Sep. 18—A 63-year-old defendant was assessed consecutive five-year sentences Monday on drunken driving convictions related to an injury crash two years ago on West 20th Street in Joplin.

Judge Gayle Crane assessed Jeffrey L. Jones, of Joplin, the prison time at his sentencing hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court.

Jones had pleaded guilty July 10 to a felony count of driving while intoxicated and to second-degree vehicular assault in connection with the crash June 25, 2021, that left another driver with fractures of two cervical vertebrae. Jones was driving a westbound pickup truck that crossed the centerline on 20th Street and struck two vehicles.

A probable-cause affidavit filed in the case stated that the defendant had a strong odor of intoxicants about him and exhibited other signs of impairment following the crash.

Jones admitted to a police officer that he had consumed some beer. But he refused to provide a blood sample when asked, according to the affidavit.

The injured driver in the case is identified only by initials in court records.