A 24-year-old Independence man faces involuntary manslaughter charges for causing a one-car crash in February that killed a woman.
Matthew W. Hepting was also charged with two counts of driving while intoxicated in the Feb. 7 wreck near Blue Mills and Buckner Tarsney roads in eastern Jackson County that killed passenger Juanita H. Hanna, 21.
Two other female passengers were seriously injured, including a woman who sustained a broken back.
Prosecutors allege that Hepting was driving north on Buckner Tarsney Road when moments before the crash, he and Hanna began to argue. Hanna was upset that Hepting appeared to be flirting with one of the women in the backseat.
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Hepting allegedly hit Hanna in the face with the back of his hand. Hepting then turned up the radio and drove faster. The black Pontiac G6 traveled speeds that exceeded 100 mph, according to court records.
A witness told investigators that Hanna told Hepting to slow down. Hepting hit her in the face with the back of hand a second time, the witness said.
The car then slid 278 feet off the roadway and struck a tree.
Emergency crews arrived and pronounced Hanna dead at the scene. Hepting was rushed by an ambulance helicopter to Research Medical Center. The women in the backseat were also taken to hospitals with critical injuries.
A toxicology report on Hepting showed the presence of amphetamines, benzodiazepines and cannabinoids. A crash reconstruction showed that speed was a large factor in the crash, according to court records.
Prosecutors requested a $100,000 bond.