UPDATE: According to a statement issued by Miller County Sheriff Louie Gregoire, Deputy Shoemate had been dispatched to the residential structure fire on Hittridge Road, and while driving to the scene with emergency lights and sirens activated, came upon a fire apparatus traveling in the same direction that was not sounding siren or displaying emergency lights.
Approaching the intersection of Route Y and Rabbit Head Road, Shoemate drove the patrol vehicle into the oncoming lane of the highway to overtake the apparatus, impacting the oncoming motorist, Levin.
According to the statement from Gregoire, Shoemate was killed upon impact.
The sheriff expressed “great sadness” in reporting the line-of-duty death of Deputy Shoemate who had been employed with the sheriff’s office since October 3, 2017. Shoemate had previously been employed by the Eldon Police Department and the Versailles Police Department.
Funeral arrangements are being prepared with the assistance of Missouri Funeral Assistance Team and the Missouri chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) and will be announced when available, according to the press release.
The sheriff’s office asked for prayers for Deputy Shoemate, Levin and family and friends of all involved.
Original story: The Miller County deputy killed in a motor vehicle collision while on-duty Friday evening has been identified as Casey L. Shoemate, 26, of Eldon.
The driver of the other vehicle was Robert M. Levin, 65, of Florissant, Missouri.
The Miller County Sheriff's Family Auxiliary Facebook commented, "No amount of training can prepare anyone for a tragedy that hits so close to home. As the family of our deputy deals with their sudden loss of their loved one our county deputies struggle with their loss of a brother. It is times like these that we really see how big, how devoted, and how bonded our Blue Line family really is. As our deputies pull themselves together to support one another our surrounding counties have stepped up and is providing support! Cole County Sheriff, Osage County Sheriff, Moniteau County Sheriff, Morgan County Sheriff, Pulaski County Sheriff, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and numerous other counties are currently providing intense support. Please continue to pray for the deputy’s family as they seek strength."
Shoemate was pronounced dead at 5:53 p.m. at the scene on Route Y by Miller County Coroner Tim Bradley. Levin was flown by the Staff for Life helicopter to University Hospital in Columbia after suffering what the Missouri State Highway Patrol described as serious injuries.
The online crash report from the MSHP shows the accident occurred at 5:50 p.m. April 20, 2018 as the southbound 2014 Dodge Charger patrol vehicle driven by Shoemate attempted to pass another southbound vehicle. According to earlier information released by the Patrol, Shoemate was attempting to pass a fire truck out on an unrelated call. The patrol car struck an oncoming vehicle head on.
Levin was the driver of the northbound 2017 Toyota 4Runner struck by the patrol vehicle on Route Y about 800 feet north of Rabbit Hill Road southwest of Eldon.
The report states the deputy had emergency lights and sirens activated. The nature of the emergency call he was responding to is unclear at this time.
Shoemate had been a deputy with the sheriff’s office for approximately one year.
The crash report indicated both men were wearing seatbelts. Both vehicles were described as totaled and were towed from the scene.
A major crash investigation team with the MSHP investigated the incident.
This was MSHP Troop F region’s sixth fatality in April and its 15th in 2018.
According to a later post on Facebook by the Rocky Mount Fire Protection District, it appears that fire trucks from multiple area fire departments had been in the area for a structure fire on Hittridge Road off of Route Y, past Rabbit Hill Road, originally reported at 5:33 p.m. The accidental fire was worked by Rocky Mount, Eldon and Lake Ozark fire departments with Miller County Ambulance and the Missouri State Fire Marshal also responding. The information from Rocky Mount also indicated that Moreau firefighters worked the crash involving Shoemate.
The Miller County Sheriff’s Office has not issued a statement at this time, but has posted End of Watch images of Deputy Shoemate on its Facebook page. The Morgan County 911 & Emergency Management Facebook page commented, “Thinking and praying for our neighboring county on the loss of their Deputy tonight.”
The Moreau Firefighters Association on Facebook posted, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Miller county sheriffs department as well as the family for the loss of their deputy. I myself (Capt. Sloan) would like you keep all personnel that assisted tonight in my thoughts and thank each and every one of them for a professional manner on scene of this accident."