St. Charles man charged in connection with Friday's car crash

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | 10:28 p.m. CST; updated 7:42 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 9, 2008

COLUMBIA — A St. Charles man has been charged in connection with Friday’s car crash that resulted in the death of an MU professor on Tuesday, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

William C. Downs, 33, was charged Saturday with second-degree assault, driving while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner, trooper Bradley Germann said.

On the night of the accident, Charles D. Fulhage, 61, of Rocheport was driving westbound on Interstate 70 when his 2001 Ford Ranger truck was struck from behind by a 2002 Dodge truck driven by Downs, according to the accident report from the Highway Patrol. The collision caused Fulhage’s vehicle to veer off the road and overturn down an embankment, according to the report. It said Fulhage was wearing his seatbelt.

Fulhage, a professor of agricultural engineering at MU, was transported to University Hospital and died Tuesday morning from injuries sustained in the crash, according to the Boone County medical examiner’s office.

Downs received minor injuries and was treated at University Hospital, according to the accident report.

He was released from Boone County Jail after posting $11,000 bond. He will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in 13th Circuit Court, according to Missouri CaseNet.

Downs had previously pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in St. Charles County, according to Missouri CaseNet. He was sentenced Feb. 7 to two years of supervised probation for an incident that occurred in October.

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