Benjamin Sugg's mugshot
Benjamin Sugg (Booking photo by Greene County Sheriff's Office)

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A 19-year-old Springfield man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to the crimes of driving while intoxicated causing the death of another and leaving the scene of an accident was sentenced to seven years in prison on April 19. 

Benjamin Sugg was 18 when the fatal crash happened near Rogersville in the early morning hours of July 16, 2023.

Sugg is in the Greene County Jail, awaiting transportation to a Missouri Department of Corrections prison.

A passenger in Sugg’s vehicle, 17-year-old Gavaan Vehr, was killed in the accident. Another passenger suffered minor injuries.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s report, the crash happened around 2 a.m. on State Route D at Farm Road 253 in Greene County. Troopers received a report of a 2020 BMW X3 SUV traveling east on Route D, leaving the road and overturning. 

The driver, later identified as Sugg, fled from the wrecked vehicle on foot. 

A witness, the surviving passenger, told the Highway Patrol troopers Sugg was the driver and that they were headed home from Club Rodeo, a nightclub in Springfield.

Deputies with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office used a dog to follow a trail of footprints in the grass heading north away from the crash. Deputies also used a drone to assist in locating Sugg, who was arrested. 

Sugg’s blood alcohol content was 0.092% on the night of the crash. The limit for adults ages 21 and older, under Missouri law, is 0.08%.

“It was bittersweet,” Gavaan’s mother Amber Munnik told KY3 after Sugg was sentenced. “I think, because there’s no winners that come out of this, you know, we’re never gonna get our son back. And Ben’s gonna spend time in prison. So there’s no winner in this.”

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