A Springfield pharmacy owner who was initially charged with manslaughter in a fatal crash pleaded guilty Wednesday to a lesser charge.
Gary Grove, 66, pleaded guilty to failing to drive on the right side of the roadway, a misdemeanor, in connection with a June 2017 crash that killed 44-year-old motorcyclist Julien “Skip” Vaughan Wayne III.
As part of the plea agreement, Grove was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation and 100 hours of community service.
According to an online crash report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Grove was driving his Cadillac two miles south of Ozark when he crossed the center line and struck Wayne’s Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Wayne, who was from Texas, was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead, the report said.
The crash took place at about 7 p.m. June 11 on Selmore Road, according to the report.
Grove was indicted on a manslaughter charge by a Christian County grand jury four months later.
Grove’s attorney Adam Woody said that to prove manslaughter, prosecutors would have had to have shown that Grove was negligent in causing the crash.
Woody said an investigation from his office revealed that Grove suffered a medical issue related to his heart problems that led up to the crash.
“It was an accident in the truest sense of the word,” Woody said.
Woody said Grove is relieved to have this case resolved so he can move forward with his life.
Grove has been the owner of Grove Pharmacy since 1980. His attorney said Grove is involved in many humanitarian efforts in the area, like the Aids Project of the Ozarks.
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