Newton County Sherrif Chris Jennings released more information regarding the death of a young man on I-44 Thursday night, November 5, 2020, near the 6.4-mile marker.
Jennings offered clarification that the incident was not a traffic crash as first thought. It was a young man going through a mental health crisis. 21-year-old Brayden Hardee of Springfield was the victim.
“Witness accounts indicated that the victim had been taken to Mercy Hospital by the family due to suicidal comments he had made. Upon arrival, he apparently became agitated and ran towards the interstate. According to witnesses he intentionally ran into the path of the truck. The victim was then struck a second time by a passenger car.” accordingly to Sheriff Chris Jennings.
A local crisis line is available 24/7 at 417-347-7720 for anyone who has or has been having mental health issues.