St. Louis man, repeat DWI offender, charged with murder in hit-and-run crash that killed boy, 4

October 9, 2012,

file0002112653337.jpgThis week, a St. Louis man was charged with hit and run, assault and second degree murder in connection with an accident that killed a 4 year-old boy. And according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the suspect has an extended history of drunk driving offenses.

The accident happened on October 5. At about 7:30 in the evening, a pickup struck two young boys as they attempted to cross the 7300 block of St. Charles Rock Road. Traye-shon Williams, 4, was pronounced dead at the scene. His brother, 10 year-old Jayshard Conner, was taken by ambulance to St. Louis Children's Hospital. He sustained multiple broken bones, but he was released from the hospital on Tuesday.

Police immediately began searching for the driver. On Sunday, they received an anonymous tip that directed them to 54 year-old Ricky Weeden's home. There, officers located a Chevrolet Silverado, and an eyewitness to the crash identified the vehicle as the one that struck the boys. Later in the day, Weedin was arrested and charged with one count of leaving the scene of a fatal accident. However, those charges were later upgraded after investigators learned more about Weeden's criminal history.

Some details about Weeden's past are still not known. However, law enforcement officials have released the following details:

• In 1983, Weeden caused a crash on Goodfellow Boulevard that left two people dead and two others injured. He was arrested for manslaughter, assault and careless and imprudent driving. Ultimately, he was only charged with the C&I and only paid $50 in bail.

• In 1993, Weeden's driver's license was revoked when he refused to submit to a breathalyzer test. His license was never reinstated.

• Since losing his license, Weeden has been cited numerous times for speeding, failing to stop at stop signs, and driving without a license. He has also been convicted of drunk driving at least six times. Two of his convictions were felonies for being a persistent DWI offender.

Authorities have been unable to explain why Weeden was sometimes charged with a misdemeanor and sometimes with a felony when he was arrested for drunk driving.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 28 people die in the United States every single day because of crashes caused by drunk drivers: on average, one out of three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash within their lifetime. And approximately a third of drivers who are arrested or convicted of drunk driving charges are repeat offenders.

In October 2013, a new Missouri DWI law designed to curb these repeat offenses will take effect. Under its terms, convicted drunk drivers will be required to install an ignition interlock device for at least 72 days. "Other states that have passed similar laws have seen their drunk driving deaths drop in half," Meghan Carter, Missouri Executive Director of MADD, told KMOV.

The car accident lawyers at Aaron Sachs and Associates serve injury victims throughout the state of Missouri. We represent clients in Springfield, Nixa, Ozark, Branson, Hollister, Stockton, Buffalo, Lebanon, Fort Leonard Wood, Dixon, Waynesville and Rolla, and we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. To schedule an appointment, please call us toll-free at 1-888-777-AUTO, or visit our website.

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