Charges likely in bachelor party accident that killed two

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

FARMINGTON, Mo. -- Missouri State Highway Patrol investigators expect to seek manslaughter charges against the driver of a Jeep that drove off a 30-foot cliff during a bachelor party, killing two people.

The crash happened about 2 a.m. Saturday in a remote area near Farmington.

Patrol Cpl. Jon Parish said Sunday that investigators suspect alcohol was involved in the crash. Parish said they were awaiting results of a blood test before seeking criminal charges from the Ste. Genevieve County prosecuting attorney.

The 1974 Jeep CJ5 was carrying the groom and some of his wedding party when the accident happened. The 22-year-old driver of the vehicle is the son of the owner of the private farm where the men were riding on trails in the Jeep.

The driver was not seriously injured, nor was the groom, Daniel Francis, 22, of Farmington.

But the groom's brother, Geoffrey Francis, 26, of Farmington, and Benton Chandler, 25, of Fayette were both killed.

The only survivor still hospitalized Sunday was another brother of the groom, Gregory Francis, 25, of Farmington.

The wedding, which was to have been Saturday afternoon in Farmington, was postponed.

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