Howell County Deputy, Prisoner Killed in Car Wreck

WEST PLAINS, MO - A Howell County prisoner transport guard and a female prisoner were both killed Thursday afternoon in a 2-vehicle accident on U.S. 63 near Houston, MO.  The accident occured at 4:27 p.m., taking the lives of 35-year-old Laura Whittingham, a guard, and 36-year-old Lisa Oliver, a prisoner.  Two other people in the sheriff's department vehicle were critically injured.  They were identified as Deputy Dennis Maddux, 53, and 33-year-old prisoner Larry Marsh.  The two were both taken to the Texas County Memorial Hospital at Houston before being transferred to hospitals in Springfield.

Both prisoners were being transported back to the Howell County Jail from the Missouri Dept. of Corrections.  The accident is being investigated by the Missouri Highway Patrol's Major Crash Squad.

"Our thoughts and prayers go the families of both Laura and Ms. Oliver.  Laura was the only female student in the Sheriff's Academy and was well-liked by her classmates and instructors," said Howell County Sheriff Rob Crites.  "We're also thinking of Dennis and Mr. Marsh.  Dennis is an extremely professional deputy, a hard worker and highly thought of by fellow employees and supervisors.  Our prayers are with him for a speedy recovery."