A police officer died this weekend after a two-year coma following a crash caused by a drunk driver, officials confirmed Monday.
New Bloomfield Mayor Michael Lowe told KRCG 13 Michael Tufts, 25, passed away from his injuries over the weekend. Tufts had been a reserve officer with the New Bloomfield Police Department for just four months. Tufts was acting as the designated driver for two friends in Columbia when a drunk driver pulled in front of them. Tufts swerved to avoid the driver and crashed into a median on Providence Road. He was thrown from the truck after it flipped. New Bloomfield police chief Chris Hammann told KRCG 13 the driver in that crash was convicted earlier this year and new charges will not be filed as a result of Tufts' death.
Lowe said Tufts was very good at talking to young people in the community, partly because he was close to their age. Tufts was 23 when he was sworn in as a reserve officer. He said being a police officer was Tufts' goal in life.
"He thought, being a police officer, he could enlighten and help kids maybe not get in trouble," he said.
Lowe said Tufts will be buried in St. Louis in a New Bloomfield police uniform. He said police departments including the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Callaway County Sheriff's Department and others will provide an escort.