A 60-year-old Odessa, Mo. man has been charged with causing a five-vehicle pileup on Labor Day that killed two children and left their driver paralyzed from the chest down.
James L. Green faces two counts of second-degree murder, assault and driving while intoxicated for the wreck that happened Monday evening on Interstate 70 and Adams Dairy Parkway in Blue Springs.
Green was driving with a suspended driver’s license and had prior convictions for driving while intoxicated, according to court records.
Jackson County prosecutors alleged that Green was eastbound on I-70 on his way home when his vehicle rear-ended another vehicle. Green later told investigators that he drank three beers about an hour before the wreck.
The crash occurred when Green looked at his phone to swipe to change the song. He never looked up and was still looking at his phone when he rear-ended another vehicle, according to court records.
The collision killed Chloe Beaird, 7, and Gavin Beaird, 13, of Warrenton, Mo. Both children died at the scene. Their father, David C. Beaird, was rushed to a hospital and is paralyzed from the chest down.
The children’s mother, Jennifer Beaird, also was injured. They all were wearing seat belts.
Green’s vehicle also struck a third vehicle, which was pushed into two others. Green complained of pain to his left leg and chest.