Blue Springs assistant prosecuting attorney involved in fatal wreck on I-70

Posted at 8:21 PM, May 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-16 12:16:24-04

In Missouri, you have to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles including tow trucks. But over the weekend troopers say the assistant prosecutor in Blue Springs failed to do so and plowed right into a mother and a tow truck driver. 

Richard Brown is now making funeral arrangements for his oldest daughter, Arienne Afrisio.

The 35-year-old mother went to pick up her car from the repair shop with her two-year-old daughter, Harmony.

“She went to test drive it, she took the baby so nobody else would have to deal with the baby and of course she loved being with her baby, she loved being with Harmony,” Melody Brown, Afrisio’s sister said.

The car broke down on the way home. Afrisio’s neighbor picked up her daughter while she waited for a tow truck.

“If there was a 10-minute difference the baby would have died,” Melody Brown said.

Troopers said a car driven by Eric Butkovich careened into Afrisio’s Ford while it was being hitched to a tow truck. The mother of two died at the scene.

“We have to see what's going on ahead. We cannot let ourselves get distracted,” Richard Brown, Afrisio’s father said.

Afrisio’s family said investigators have told them drugs and alcohol did not play a role but they’re continuing to investigate to see if distractive driving did.

41 Action News has learned Butkovich is the assistant prosecuting attorney for Blue Springs. 

He’s worked for the city since 1993. We went to his home looking for his side of the story but no one came to the door. 

The City of Blue Springs released this statement:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those touched by this tragic accident," said Mayor Carson Ross.  "Lives have been permanently changed and I would like to personally send my heartfelt condolences to the Afrisio family and prayers for those injured in this accident.” The Missouri Highway Patrol is investigating this accident and will release their findings once the investigation is complete. The Assistant Prosecuting Attorney position is a contract position and reports to the Prosecuting Attorney. The Prosecuting Attorney is appointed by the Mayor and is also a contract position. “

Afisio’s who had lost her husband also leaves behind her 14-year-old son.

“This is something we have to live with the rest of our lives, they killed somebody, accidentally killed somebody and they made two kids orphans. That is not anything I would want to live with for the rest of my life.” Richard Brown said. 

The tow truck driver was also hit but survived his injuries.

There is no word yet on if charges will be filed in the case.