Truck Driver Charged In Connection With Death Of 8-Year-Old Girl Says He Thought He Hit A Deer

Joplin, Missouri – New information has emerged in the tragic semi accident that claimed the life of 8-year-old Destiny Chamber yesterday morning at approximately 7 a.m. in Joplin, Missouri. She was near a school bus when she was struck and killed by a 2017 Freightliner tractor-trailer. Authorities have now charged truck driver Lance Lee of DeKalb, Illinois, in Jasper County Circuit Court with one count of leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in the death which is a class D felony.

Lance T. Lee, 49, of DeKalb, Illinois

According to a new report in the Joplin Globe, Lee first told his employer he thought hit a deer on Interstate 44 near the 46 mile marker, authorities said. He later allegedly admitted to being at the crash scene and told police he saw the school bus stopped on Sunny Slope Lane and thought he hit a mailbox.

During questioning Lee admitted he initially told his employer he hit a deer because he understood hitting a mailbox is a chargeable offense.  According to Lee’s probable cause statement he was unaware the semi he was driving struck a child.

Related: VIDEO: 8-Year-Old Stuck, Killed By Semi… Driver Flees The Scene

Lee was pursued by the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) and apprehended on Highway 249. A blood-alcohol test was administered though the results of that test has yet to be released. Lee was being held in the Jasper County Jail on Friday morning on a $10,000 cash bond. An arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

A GoFundMe Page has been set up to help the Chambers family pay for funeral expenses. Officials with Soaring Heights Elementary say the children on the bus at the time of the accident will have access to counselors for grief and trauma.

Featured photo courtesy of the Joplin Globe.

 

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