Belle man dies in Route M crash

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 2/19/20

BELLE — Cody J. Smith, 28, of Belle, was pronounced deceased at 4:42 p.m. Wednesday afternoon after the 1999 Pontiac Grand Am he was operating traveled off the south side of Route M in Maries …

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Belle man dies in Route M crash

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BELLE — Cody J. Smith, 28, of Belle, was pronounced deceased at 4:42 p.m. Wednesday afternoon after the 1999 Pontiac Grand Am he was operating traveled off the south side of Route M in Maries County and struck a tree. 

Kenneth Butler reported the accident to  emergency services around 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 12. The crash occurred about three miles west of Belle.

“Grandson saw him,” Butler said. “Not sure if from the school bus or his truck. He said he couldn’t see if anyone was in there (the car) or not, to go over there and look.”

When Butler arrived on scene, he located Smith in the vehicle.

“I didn’t think he looked alive,” Butler said. “I could barely reach my hand around to touch him. You couldn’t touch him in there hardly. I couldn’t really get to him to check him out.”

Assistant Fire Chief Nathan Abel said the Belle Volunteer Fire Department arrived on scene around 4:25 p.m., the ambulance was already there and Smith was in the car.  Firemen extricated Smith’s body from the car and placed in the care of Ozark Central Ambulance personnel.

Smith’s fiance´ Danielle Taylor arrived around 4:45 p.m., pleading for information about his condition. After making her way to the ambulance, she paced, looked through the window and asked emergency personnel if she could see Smith.

Maries County Sheriff’s Lt. Scott John arrived minutes after and spoke with Smith’s mother via cellphone. Taylor asked the ambulance personnel to take him to Rolla hospital, as his parents live in that area. She continued to pace behind the Ozark Central Ambulance until John asked if he could drive her somewhere.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper J. N. Rigsby who investigated the scene, Smith was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead shortly after paramedics arrived. Ozark Central Ambulance transported Smith to Sassmann’s Chapel in Belle.

“It is believed that intoxicants may have been involved and the victim may have been in an agitated state of mind which could have been a contributing factor to the wreck,” said Sheriff Chris Heitman on Feb. 13, the day after the accident.

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