Image courtesy of Christian County Headliner

By Dave Warren and Kathee Baird

Donald R. Burk, 49, co-owner of the former Heritage Chrysler-Jeep and Ozark Dodge, was killed in a crash on U.S. 65, three miles south or Urbana.

Burk's death comes just nine months after his partner, Rufus Church, was found dead from a gunshot wound at the Ozark dealership.

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, Burk was southbound at 6:08 a.m. Tuesday, when his vehicle crossed the center line and collided with a tractor trailer operated by Donald Creekmore, 51, of Joplin.

Police say that Burk's 2006 Jeep landed in a ditch where it caught fire and burned.

Burke was pronounced dead at the scene by Dallas County Coroner, Lamount Swanson.

Police have yet to release the cause of death and conclusion of their investigation into the the death of Rufus Church. The autopsy report does not list suicide, Christian County Coroner Arthur Adams amended Church's cause of death to pending investigation after authorities requested the change.

Christian County Prosecutor, Ron Cleek, told the Sentinel that, "Nobody was taken off the radar in the Rufus Church death investigation, and that included Burk".

Tuesday's crash, which was withheld for a period of time by the state patrol, also resulted in a 130 gallon spill of diesel.


Anonymous said...

that was my best friends dad and you shouldn't have posted that. it was really upsetting to both the daughters and mother.

Anonymous said...

I was his nephew and this is complete bs! My uncle would never do such a thing. This nonsense just completely tears me up. He died in a car wreck, many people do, its a fact of life, just because he died 9 months after Rufus does not mean he killed him!!! My cousins are left fatherless now. Is that not bad enough? You have to put him as a suspect for a murder of his good friend. You people make me sick.