Marshfield Man Sentenced in Fatal 2016 Crash

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Friday, June 15, Matthew Allen Brungard, 33, was sentenced to 5 years in prison with no probation.

In 2017, Brungard was charged with Involuntary manslaughter in the 1st degree of Daniel Baez Vargas, 24.

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A preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 18 for a Marshfield man charged with involuntary manslaughter and wrong-way driving after a July 2016 crash near Strafford that killed an Arkansas man.

Court documents state that blood alcohol tests on Matthew Allen Brungard, 33, came in at more than three times Missouri’s legal limit for drunken driving when he was admitted to Mercy Hospital-Springfield for injuries he suffered in the crash.

A Missouri Highway Patrol trooper who had responded to the area after a report of a pickup driving west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 44 found a crash scene at which Daniel Baez Vargas, 24, was seated in his pickup truck “bleeding from a large head wound.” He was pronounced dead at the scene by a Greene County medical examiner.

According to a probable cause statement, the trooper also found Brungard lying on the ground outside his own pickup truck, his speech was slurred and there was a strong odor of intoxicants around him. The trooper said Brungard told him he did not remember what had happened.

Skid marks from Vargas’ truck were recorded from the left eastbound lane to the point of the crash, the report states.  There were no marks indicating westbound Brungard has attempted to avoid the collision.

The trooper also reported that records obtained from Mercy Hospital indicated Brungard had a blood alcohol concentration of .244 percent. The limit for driving drunk in Missouri is .08 percent.

Brungard was charged on Aug. 7, 2017 and is currently free on $5,000 bond.

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