By: Sean McDowell
Missouri police believe a drunk driver caused a wild car crash at a Wendy’s fast food restaurant Monday that left one person dead and five injured.
Sedalia detectives arrested 62-year-old Dennis Weaver on suspicion of driving while intoxicated after Weaver’s pickup truck punched through the front of the restaurant, striking multiple people.
Police identified the woman who died as 81-year-old Carol Barnes. Barnes’ husband, Don Barnes, a retired local judge, was also injured, and remains in intensive care at a local hospital Tuesday evening.
A big hole remained in the restaurant’s wall Tuesday as workers tried to fix the damage.
A police spokesperson said Weaver is still in jail, and, as of Tuesday evening, no formal charges have been filed against him. Pettis County prosecutors couldn’t be reached for comment on the status of charges against Weaver.
Pastor Marilyn Grechus, who leads Sedalia Community of Christ where the Barnes family attends, said Carol Barnes is being remembered for her gift of music and her willingness to volunteer her time to bless others.
“I know the whole community is going to be in shock from this. They’ve been involved in the community all their lives,” Grechus said.
“This family and this church community have lost a dear soul, someone who was very much loved and respected,” said Mary Jo Sartin, a fellow church member.
Sartin said doctors are cautiously optimistic Don Barnes will recover.
Sedalia Police Commander David Woolery said the others who were injured in the crash are expected to be fine, but what happened to Carol Barnes was something that hurts the community of Sedalia.
“The victim was a longtime resident of our community and a very popular person. It saddens all of us in this community. Our hearts go out to all the victims involved,” Woolery said.
Grechus said the church wants to hold funeral services for Barnes, but they can’t due to the pandemic. Church leaders are hopeful Pettis County health officials might make an exception and allow the congregation to honor their beloved friend.
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