Chaffee man charged with vehicular assault

Sunday, December 9, 2012

EDITOR'S NOTE: Errors in this copy were corrected.

BENTON, Mo. -- A Scott County man is looking at vehicular assault charges that allege he was driving under the influence at the time of a Saturday morning traffic accident that sent five people to a hospital with injuries.

Terry E. Eftink, 45, of Chaffee, Mo., was charged with second-degree assault after he pulled his Toyota 4Runner into the path of an SUV on Highway 77, about four miles south of Chaffee, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Eftink, his passenger, and all three occupants in the other vehicle suffered varying degrees of injuries, the patrol said. The injuries sustained by three of those involved were said to be minor, but the others -- one from each vehicle -- were taken to a hospital with injuries the patrol described as moderate.

Eftink was driving southbound when he made a left-hand turn into the northbound lane in which a 2002 Saturn Vue was being driven by Penny L. Baker of Jackson, according to the patrol's online arrest and crash reports. Eftink's 4Runner struck Baker's SUV in the side, leaving Baker and one of her passengers with minor injuries. A third occupant of Baker's SUV, Paula K. Lee of Folsom, Calif., had more serious injuries, the patrol said.

Eftink and his passenger, Sherri M. Eftink, had moderate and minor injuries, respectively, the patrol said.

All were taken to a Cape Girardeau hospital for treatment.

In Missouri, second-degree felony assault can be applied to those driving in an intoxicated state, which the law says makes them criminally negligent if they cause a physical injury to any person other than themselves.

Second-degree assault is a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. Eftink, who was arrested about an hour after the accident, was taken to the hospital.

No court dates have been set.

smoyers@semissourian.com

388-3642

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