Andrew Lynch's mugshot
Andrew Lynch (Booking photo by Greene County Sheriff's Office)

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A Springfield man has admitted he was intoxicated when he caused a vehicle crash in 2019 that took the lives of three people.

Andrew Lynch, 34, pleaded guilty on Friday, May 31, to three counts of the class A felony of second-degree murder and three counts of the class B felony of driving while intoxicated causing the death of another. 

He was 29 when the crash occurred on Aug. 3, 2019, at the intersection of Glenstone Avenue and Kearney Street in northeast Springfield.

The crash resulted in three deaths: Jamin Seabert, 41; Kimberly Seabert, 39; and Braeden Seabert, 19.

Following a court-ordered sentencing assessment report, Lynch will be sentenced in October in Greene County Circuit Court Judge Kaiti Greenwade’s courtroom.

According to a court records, Lynch drove a pickup truck recklessly through Greene County for nearly 30 minutes before the crash and at least seven people called 911 to report his driving. He caused several accidents, lost the vehicle and trailer he was towing and nearly hit a pedestrian. 

Portion of chase broadcast on ‘Live PD'

According to a 2019 Springfield News-Leader story, a Greene County sheriff's deputy pursued Lynch for less than a minute and the pursuit was called off before the crash. But a portion of the pursuit was broadcast on “Live PD,” a television show on A&E that was canceled in 2020.

Joseph Passanise with Wampler & Passanise
Attorney Joseph Passanise with Wampler & Passanise. (Photo provided by Wampler & Passanise)

In addition to the second-degree murder and driving while intoxicated charges, Lynch also pleaded guilty to the class E felony of leaving the scene of an accident and the class D felony of leaving the scene of an accident which resulted in a death.

Lynch appeared in court Friday with his attorney, Joseph Passanise.

Greene County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Emily Shook said she intends to argue for 30-year sentences, or life in prison, for the second-degree murder charges to be served concurrently. That's the maximum allowable prison sentence for a class A felony under Missouri sentencing guidelines.

Lynch was set to stand trial June 5, but his plea led to the cancelation of the trial.

Court documents detail dangerous driving at high speeds, brief chase with deputies

May 31, Shook spoke about the prosecution’s case and what led up to the deadly wreck in 2019. She said Lynch had been drinking with friends at the Southern Missouri Off-Road Ranch near Seymour. 

While he was offroading, Lynch’s Chevrolet Blazer flipped and he became upset, Shook said. 

Lynch and three of his friends then had to tow the Blazer back to Greene County on a trailer pulled by a white truck. Lynch was driving the pickup truck.

Shook said Lynch was driving so recklessly his friends asked Lynch to stop and got out of the truck. After the friends got out of the truck, several concerned citizens began calling 911 to report the white truck being driven in a dangerous manner.

The fatal crash happened at 7:08 p.m. Aug. 3, 2019, but the probable cause statement filed by a deputy with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office shows 911 calls started happening almost 30 minutes prior to the fatal crash.

According to the deputy’s report, dispatchers broadcast information to deputies about a white truck pulling a trailer with a vehicle on it was driving in a careless and imprudent manner in the area of Norton Road and Kansas Expressway at 6:43 p.m.

Then at 6:45 p.m., a report came in that the vehicle on the trailer fell off near the Dickerson Park Zoo, but the driver kept going. The caller stated the suspect vehicle nearly hit a pedestrian.

Another report came in at 6:57 p.m. that the white truck drove through a fence near Farm Road 60 and State Highway H.

Highway Patrol helicopter aided in pursuit

On the day of the crash, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office was participating in a project with the Missouri State Highway Patrol involving a helicopter monitoring and recording traffic. A deputy requested assistance from the helicopter crew to help locate and track Lynch’s truck.

At 7:05 p.m., the helicopter crew located the truck driving south on State Highway H at “a high rate of speed” and making dangerous passes in the oncoming traffic lanes, the deputy wrote in his report.

Another sheriff's deputy spotted the truck and pursued it, while another deputy set up spike strips to try to deflate the truck's tires at Farm Road 102. Lynch drove over the spike strips and continued to travel south on Highway H.

The deputy pursuing Lynch was advised that the helicopter “had eyes on the suspect,” so that deputy ended his pursuit in the area of the Praise Assembly Church at 3535 N. Glenstone Ave., according to the report. 

At that time, Lynch continued south on Glenstone Avenue and struck a Subaru Outback, causing significant damage to the vehicle. Lynch continued driving in a manner described by the deputy  as “erratic, with lane changes, speeding and careless driving.”

Emily Shook is the first assistant prosecuting attorney of the Greene County prosecutor's office. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

In court, Shook said Lynch was sometimes driving at or near 100 miles per hour.

Lynch went around traffic that was stopped at Kearney Street for a red light and struck the Seaberts' Ford Fusion that was westbound on Kearney.

“The collision was obviously violent in nature, pushing both vehicles south of the intersection,” the officer wrote. “The Ford Fusion is the vehicle that all three fatalities were located in, all perished at the scene.”

After striking the Ford Fusion, Lynch got out of the pickup truck and fled the accident scene on foot, running south on Glenstone.

Lynch's run was a short one

According to the probable cause statement, civilians and law enforcement officers with the Springfield Police Department detained Lynch in the parking lot of the Springfield Inn at 2355 N. Glenstone Ave.

In his report, a Greene County deputy wrote he smelled “a strong odor of intoxicants” from Lynch’s truck. Lynch, who was on the ground in handcuffs by the time the deputy arrived, was “extremely belligerent,” the deputy wrote, and had bloodshot, watery, and glassy eyes.

Lynch was arrested at that time. Law enforcement officers tested his blood alcohol content, which measured 0.221 percent. 

When he was interviewed by a detective on Aug. 4, 2016, Lynch allegedly said he remembered driving really fast and seeing police lights. Lynch allegedly admitted to drinking beer, drinking moonshine and smoking marijuana on the day of the crash. 

According to the probable cause statement, Lynch stated he last used the illicit drug methamphetamine on Aug. 1, 2019, and meth was detected in his blood sample. But there was no mention of methamphetamine at the sentencing hearing on Friday.

Lynch remains in the Greene County Jail as he awaits sentencing.

Shook and Passanise agreed they expect the sentencing hearing in October to be around three hours long, given the number of people who want to give victim impact statements and/or speak on behalf of Lynch.

Jackie Rehwald

Jackie Rehwald is a reporter at the Hauxeda. She covers public safety, the courts, homelessness, domestic violence and other social issues. Her office line is 417-837-3659. More by Jackie Rehwald