Deputy Justin Burney

Deputy Justin Burney is pictured during his recognition by Sheriff Roye Cole for his key role in the opening of the Webster County Justice Center.

An off-duty deputy with the Webster County Sheriff’s Office died Thursday afternoon in an accident on Interstate 44.

Justin L. Burney, 26, was heading home after picking up his children from school when the accident occurred. In the report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Deputy Burney’s daughter, 6, was listed as serious, and his son, 3, was listed as having minor injuries.

The report states that Jason H. Spearing, 35, of Tucson, Arizona, was driving his 2004 Jeep Liberty in the eastbound lane of Interstate 44 when he traveled off the left side of the road and through the median cable barrier. He crossed into the westbound lane and struck Deputy Burney’s vehicle, a 2015 Kia Soul.

The accident occurred at 3:50 p.m. Deputy Burney was pronounced dead at 5:25 p.m. at Cox South in Springfield.

Spearing was tested for alcohol. He had moderate injuries and was transported to Mercy Hospital.

The Mail has learned that Burney’s daughter is being treated for her injuries in a St. Louis hospital.

As a result of the accident, traffic in the westbound lanes of Interstate 44 was hung up for several hours, and interstate travelers exited at Marshfield to pursue a different route.

More details will be available in Wednesday's issue of The Mail.

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