About 250 miles southwest of St. Louis sits the small rural town of Reeds Spring, Missouri, just a few miles northwest of Branson. The town of about 900 residents is grieving the loss of two of its residents – a 41-year-old man and 39-year-old woman. They were killed in a crash with a 19-year-old male relative from central Illinois, law enforcement officials told a newspaper.

The 29-year-old Missouri driver of the vehicle that struck theirs has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder in the fatal motor vehicle crash, police said. Law enforcement officials said they believe the Springfield man’s excess speed and reckless driving caused the violent collision.

The county sheriff’s department said the crash was shortly before 7 pm when a truck towing a trailer containing a second vehicle was reported for being driven carelessly. The speeding vehicle apparently lost the trailer and the vehicle on it, but kept going, running traffic lights near the county’s fairgrounds.

The truck was also reportedly “in additional crashes and left the scene,” a police report stated.

A deputy spotted the speeding vehicle and deployed a tire deflation device “with undetermined results.” The truck sped on, however, and then slammed into the vehicle containing the Reeds Spring residents.

We do not yet know why the truck was being driven so recklessly, but we do know that in many similar circumstances, the driver was impaired by alcohol, drugs or both.

Regardless, families and communities have lost treasured members and must now try to find a way forward. For many who lose loved ones, pursuit of justice in wrongful death litigation can help with closure and a need to hold a perpetrator accountable for their recklessness.