Manslaughter charge in fatal ATV crash – Republic-Times
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Manslaughter charge in fatal ATV crash – Republic-Times

James M. Eschmann

A local man is now facing serious criminal charges following a fatal ATV accident last fall.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department said James M. Eschmann, 20, of Columbia, was charged this week with reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol for his role in the incident.

Police said that shortly before 6 p.m. on September 13, 2023, MCSD joined Monroe County EMS and Waterloo Police and Fire Departments to respond to an ATV crash in the 2600 block of Trout Camp Road. The crash resulted in the death of a passenger identified as David Browning Jr., 17, of St. Louis, who was pronounced deceased shortly after arriving at a local hospital.

Eschmann, the ATV driver, was airlifted to a St. Louis hospital, where he received treatment and was released the next morning.

Following the crash, MCSD requested assistance from the Illinois State Police Crime Scene and Reconstruction Units to assist in the investigation.

After the investigation was completed, MCSD presented its findings to the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office. Monroe County Prosecutor Ryan Webb subsequently filed charges against Eschmann, who was taken into custody on July 9.

Eschmann will appear before a judge to determine whether he will remain in jail or be released pending further court proceedings. He remains in custody at the Monroe County Jail pending pretrial summonses.

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