- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A 25-year-old Missouri man has died after being in a coma since a fatal drunken-driving accident nearly two years ago, his mother said.

Patricia Tufts told the Columbia Daily Tribune (https://bit.ly/1rx7Lhp ) that her son Michael, who was a reserve officer for the New Bloomfield police, died Saturday night.

The 22-year-old driver who caused the December 2012 wreck pleaded guilty this March to one count of first-degree involuntary manslaughter and two counts of first-degree assault. The accident killed 24-year-old Michelle Morrow and injured her boyfriend.

The driver, Spencer Gordon, was sentenced to seven years in prison in June. He was underage at the time of the wreck and officials said he had been drinking.

Attorneys agreed then that if Tufts died, charges against Gordon would not be added or upgraded.

Tufts graduated from Hickman High School, and according to his family, he had always wanted to be a police officer. Both of his grandfathers served in the military, and one of them was a cop.

He worked for New Bloomfield’s police department and often put in more than the minimum 16 hours required, according to police chief Christopher Hammann.

“He was always likable and always made everybody smile,” Hammann said. “Always had the best jokes and the best stories. He had a presence about him to uplift everyone.”

Tufts’ mother said family members are not bitter or resentful toward Gordon. She said she plans to get involved with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

“I would trade places with him in a heartbeat, but I can’t, so we got to find a silver lining in this,” she said.

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, https://www.columbiatribune.com


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