County official dies in motorcycle accident

Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Saline County Emergency Management Director Emmit Williams coordinates law enforcement efforts Tuesday, Aug. 23, at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia during a simulation of an emergency respite site following a 7.7 magnitude earthquake disaster in southeastern Missouri. In addition to serving as the emergency management director, Williams was a past commander of the Civil Air Patrol MO-117 composite squadron. Williams died as the result of injuries from a two-vehicle collision in Howard County on Monday, Sept. 5. (Arron Hustead/Democrat-News)

Saline County Emergency Management Director Emmit Williams passed away Monday morning, Sept. 5, as the result of a motorcycle crash in Howard County.

Williams, 73, had served as the county's emergency management director since May 2014. According to a Missouri State Highway Patrol report, Williams was traveling northbound on Missouri Route 87 near the town of Boonesboro at approximately 10:55 a.m. when the motorcycle he was piloting lost control and crossed the center line into the path of oncoming traffic. Williams' vehicle was struck by a 2002 Nissan Frontier driven by Colton W. Wells, 16, of Prarie Home, according to the report. Both vehicles then traveled off the roadway where they struck a traffic sign. No injuries to Wells were reported.

The emergency management agency for the county serves to protect the lives and property of all residents in the county when public safety is threatened by either natural disasters or man-made disasters. The agency is responsible for developing and updating an emergency operation plan annually to allow for the saving of lives, minimalization, protection of property and environment, preservation of functional civil government, and maintaining economic activities essential to the survival and recovers from natural and man-made disasters in a collaborative effort between the county and the city of Marshall.

At the time Williams was hired to the post, it was a part-time position, but was later expanded to full-time in June 2015, retroactive to February 2015.

"The Saline County Commissioners would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the family of Emmit Williams," a statement from the county commission issued Tuesday, Sept. 6, reads. "He was a husband, father, brother and uncle. He was loved by all. We are sorry for your loss. Emmit was the pioneer, and Director of the Saline County Emergency Crisis Team. He was a Commissioned Reserve Deputy Sheriff and a dedicated Saline County Official. He will be greatly missed by the county."

Williams came to the position of emergency management director with 40 years of emergency services experience including managing the aerial flood plain during the 1993 floods, according to a reported statement from the time of his hiring.

In the event of an emergency, Marshall Fire Chief and Assistant Emergency Management Director Tony Day would be in charge of coordinating the county's response efforts until such time as a new director is appointed.

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  • A truly great person and Veteran. He was an active member of VFW Post 2646 in Marshall, MO. Emmit will be missed.

    -- Posted by brian.ferguson1 on Tue, Sep 6, 2016, at 3:03 PM
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