SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Rockaway Beach man was arrested in connection to an intentional hit-and-run incident that left a motorcyclist in critical condition.
Dea A. Brewer, born in 1977, of Rockaway Beach, faces two felonies: first-degree assault resulting in the serious injury of the victim and armed criminal action.
“Motorcycle crashes have been on the rise the last five years,” said Injury Law Attorney David Ransin. “Fatal crashes have also been increasing and began to spike after the no-helmet law was passed.”
According to court documents, Brewer was the driver of an SUV that intentionally rear-ended a motorcyclist on May 22.
At 5:59 p.m. on May 22, Springfield police were dispatched to West Bennett Street to respond to a crash. They found the motorcyclist unconscious on the ground. He was taken to Mercy Hospital, where it was found he was in critical condition with head wounds and road rash.
“The most classic injury comes from what I call a left-in,” Ransin said. “When someone’s coming towards you and turns left in or left out when someone pulls out. Either way, it’s a T-Bone. The bike rider will be ejected. Very often they lose a leg.”
At the crash site, police found a piece of vehicle debris that has a part number on it. They were able to connect this part to the grille of a 2004-2006 Buick Ranier. Police also acquired a nearby business’ surveillance footage, which showed the crash. The video showed a motorcycle traveling on Bennett at normal speed. A white SUV shows up and rapidly accelerated toward the back of the motorcycle, striking it. The SUV pushes the motorcycle until it falls over with the rider still on it. The motorcycle and rider slid to rest as the SUV continued without any observable reduction in speed.
“In all of our crashes, we get security videos and they’re all shocking because you’re seeing something that you definitely don’t expect,” Ransin said. “But this is difficult to believe that this was purely carelessness, inattentiveness. Given the speed, broad daylight, clear weather conditions there’s no excuse for this.”
Through another business’ security camera footage, police saw the moments leading up to the crash. The SUV pulls into the parking lot of the Springfield Recovery Community Center and parks. Seconds later, the motorcyclist pulls into the same parking lot with a woman on the back of the bike. The woman got off the bike and hugged the motorcyclist before he drove away. As he drove through the parking lot, the SUV followed him, attempting to cut him off before he left. The SUV was a Buick Rainier.
“You cannot insure an intentional act,” Ransin said. “So it’s very important for the biker rider to know what insurance they have because you’ve got to buy insurance to protect yourself.”
Police used the Ranier’s vanity license plate to track it through FLOCK cameras. On May 23, officers found the vehicle on Glenstone Avenue. It appeared to have damage consistent with the motorcycle crash incident. The driver was identified as Brewer.
Brewer had an arrest warrant from Taney County. He was taken to Springfield police headquarters, where he said he did not know anything about the crash and needed his attorney.
Officers interviewed other people involved. The woman dropped off at the Springfield Recovery Community Center was Brewer’s girlfriend, who told police “he had been my stalker before he was my boyfriend” and that he was possessive and a “monster” when he was drinking.
The motorcyclist picked her up on May 22 and they drove around throughout the day, she said. Brewer was supposed to pick her up for a 6 p.m. class at the recovery center they were taking together, but since she was running late, the motorcyclist took her straight there. She said she did not know Brewer was in the parking lot. She said that afterward, Brewer was texting and calling her to tell her he was going to prison.
Her mother also received calls and texts from Brewer stating that he was going to kill the motorcyclist. She told police Brewer was concerned the motorcyclist was giving his girlfriend drugs.
Brewer is being held at the Taney County Jail with no bond.