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Hogue Found Guilty in Fatal 'Hill-Topping' Crash

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield man has been found guilty of charges in connection with a 2013 rollover accident that left one passenger dead and another seriously injured.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield man has been found guilty of charges in connection with a 2013 rollover accident that left one passenger dead and another seriously injured.

During a jury trial Thursday, Matthew Hogue, 21, of Springfield was found guilty of first-degree involuntary manslaughter and second-degree assault.

According to police, Hogue was driving a SUV on Farm Rd. 132 just before 2 a.m. on May 6, 2013 when he “hill-topped” the vehicle. The SUV sped over the hill in the road, flew through the air and flipped when it hit the ground.

Hogue suffered minor injures. His passenger, Kendi Highland, 29, of Springfield, died of her injuries sustained in the crash. Another passenger, Joseph Sims, 21, of Springfield, was seriously injured.

Thursday was the first day of Hogue’s jury trial. The jury deliberated for a little over an hour before they read the guilty verdict.

As part of the presented testimony, Officer Bryan Gruben, who examined the scene of the crash and reconstructed the accident, determined the speed of Houge's vehicle at the time it began to skid was 73 miles per hour.  The speed limit at the location is 30 miles per hour.

An officer talking to Hogue at the hospital after the crash says Hogue admitted to hill-topping and further said he "had done it 100 times."

Hogue is facing a sentence of up to 7 years in prison. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 23, 2014.



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