|Joplin officers attempted to stop a GMC Yukon at just after 1 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009 at the intersection of Fourth and Main when the vehicle failed to stop for a flashing red signal. Officers activated their emergency equipment to stop the vehicle. The vehicle failed to yield to the police and went around several blocks in the downtown area before proceeding east on Fifth Street.
The suspect vehicle lost control and went airborne while crossing the railroad tracks at Fifth and Murphy Boulevard. After losing control the vehicle ended up in the ditch. The vehicle caught fire but officers were able to extinguish the fire.
The front seat passenger Anita L. Lizotte, age 46, of Joplin was deceased at the scene. The driver Francisco Espinoza, age 22, of Noel was transported to St. Johnís Hospital and is currently in custody at the Jasper County Jail.
Espinoza is currently being held on the following charges:
- Involuntary Manslaughter in the First Degree ($75,000 Bond)
- Felony Driving while Intoxicated ($5000.00 Bond)
- Felony Driving while Revoked ($5000.00 Bond)
The Missouri State Highway Patrol was called to assist in the crash reconstruction.
Editor's note: According to Missouri Casenet, Anita Louise Lizotte, last known address of 1911 Carolina, Joplin had been awarded unsupervised probation until October 31, 2009 after having pled guilty to driving while intoxicated.