Family of pedestrian killed in a crash in south Springfield says he was “trying to start a better life”

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 9:36 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Police have identified a pedestrian killed in a crash in Springfield on Tuesday.

Ronnie Highbear, 35, of Rapid City, South Dakota, died in the single-vehicle crash.

Officers responded to Republic Road and Fremont Avenue intersection around 7:30 a.m. Police say Highbear walked northbound across Republic Road when he was struck by a 2019 Nissan Rogue traveling eastbound. Police say impairment is not suspected in the crash.

His family members say he came to Springfield for a start at a better life.

“He is my oldest older brother, and he’s just genuinely kind, caring, and protective,” said Auriauna Eubank, sister to the victim. “I was shocked because I had literally just heard from him the week before, and I thought he was doing good.”

Eubank said Highbear moved to Springfield to seek alcoholism treatment.

“He wasn’t just who people thought he was, a drunk guy walking around. He was our brother,” said Eubank. “He was my mom’s son, a father to my niece, and a son to Dawn and Jan.”

Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams says they continue investing in traffic safety education around Springfield.

”Speeding and distraction are the two main issues and likewise distraction on the part of pedestrians,” said Williams.

The crash was the 20th traffic fatality in Springfield in 2022.

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