GREENE COUNTY, Mo.- An Ozark woman has been charged in the fatal hit-and-run crash that killed 21-year-old Mercedes Luna in Rogersville in May.
Court records say 55-year-old Marjorie Dewitt has been charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, and tampering with physical evidence in felony prosecution.
On November 4, Dewitt turned herself in with her attorney and pleaded not guilty. Online court records say Dewitt is scheduled for a criminal setting on December 13 in Greene County.
Court documents obtained by OzarksFirst say on May 7, 2021, the Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated a fatal accident around 7:45 that morning on Missouri 125 near Farm Road 156. The crash occurred when a Hyundai Santa Fe traveled north on 125 and overtook another northbound vehicle on a double yellow line while approaching the top of a hill. On the other side of the hillcrest was a Honda Civic heading south. Luna drove the Honda Civic.
According to the probable cause statement, Luna had to swerve into the ditch to avoid the Santa Fe driven by Dewitt. Luna lost control of her car during the maneuver and was hit by a FedEx truck. Dewitt was trying to pass the FedEx truck in the southbound lane of 125.
Later that day, the Rogersville Police Department stopped a vehicle that matched the one seen in an image leaving the scene of the accident. An investigator with the Highway Patrol confirmed that the officer pulled over Dewitt in the matching vehicle.
On May 25, an investigator went to Chadwick, Missouri and made contact with Dewitt asking her where she was the morning of May 7. Court documents say she told the officer she had left her home in Ozark and traveled to Oldfield, Missouri. After that, she said she went to Chadwick then later drove on MO 125 near Rogersville. The investigator then took pictures of the Hyundai Santa Fe and left.
On May 27, a witness at Dewitt’s work informed the investigator that on May 7, Dewitt went to work in Strafford around 8 a.m., and the witness talked to Dewitt around that time. Court documents say the witness told investigators that Dewitt admitted to passing vehicles in the double yellow line.
The witness asked Dewitt if she crossed a double yellow line the day that Luna died in the car accident. Dewitt replied she didn’t believe she had but did not deny having passed anyone on May 7.
Later on May 27, two Highway Patrol investigators contacted Dewitt at her home. She told investigators that she was in Strafford that morning of May 7 and that she drove on MO 125. Court records say she did admit to passing two vehicles on her way to work. She told investigators she placed a sticker on the rear of her car the night of May 7 so other people would not think she was involved in the fatal crash.
Investigators used a search warrant from AT&T. That warrant showed that Dewitt’s phone was active in the area of the fatal crash on May 7.