Violently out-of-control road rage produced deadly consequences around 11:30 a.m. last Sunday. Both the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the O’Fallon police were called about “a fight on I-64.” Arriving at the scene, they discovered an unconscious man and rushed him to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. Ron Lawson’s family is devastated.
Road rage suspect flees the scene
By Thursday, most of the puzzle had been pieced together and both Joshua O’Keefe and his wife are behind bars. The only thing that nobody is talking about, at this time, is what happened to trigger such violent rage. “The location where he was at is always a busy place. It was on a Sunday morning, Sunday early afternoon,” Ron Lawson’s son, Jason described as he asked for the public’s help. He was convinced “There had to be somebody somewhere that seen something. For my family, please just somebody, please, speak up.” His plea was soon answered.
Security camera footage from several sources over the next few days, and an intensive manhunt through social media helped identify and locate O’Keefe. Witnesses of the road rage incident provided pictures of “the suspect’s vehicle – a 2019 or 2020 black Dodge 2500 or 3500 diesel truck. The truck was towing a white car trailer with vertical ramps.” They plastered them all over Facebook from the St. Charles County page.
“This is the POS that MSHP is looking for. Everyone meet Josh O’Keefe! This is the POS that allegedly beat a man to death on Highway 40 Westbound and Winghaven over road rage. If you know his whereabouts, contact the MSHP or your area Law Enforcement Agency. He has Murder warrants out for him!” His wife had a chance to cough him up but didn’t, so now she’s in the next cell.
On Thursday, the State Highway patrol confirmed that “the wife of a Troy man who was arrested Wednesday night for the death of a 68-year-old Winfield resident in a road rage incident along Interstate 64 has been taken into custody.” She was “arrested on suspicion of hindering prosecution, but has not yet been officially charged.” The day before, with the entire state gunning for him, Joshua O’Keefe “turned himself in to MSHP troopers at Troop C Headquarters in Weldon Spring.”
After the police got done smacking him around with a phone book, the St. Charles County Prosecutor’s Office informed the public that “O’Keefe fled the scene after witnesses saw him get out of his truck and punch Lawson at least twice before placing the mortally wounded man back into his vehicle and fleeing the scene before law enforcement officials arrived.” There is no explanation for what triggered the rage.
Ron Lawson is remembered by his family and friends as “a truck driver” who “was always safe on the road.” He’s not the type of driver to do things which lead to road rage. The biggest part of the tragedy is that, as the victims daughter Leah Lawson relates, “I’ve got a little boy that has the same birthday as my dad’s birthday and now I have to celebrate and mourn on my son’s birthday every year because that piece of us is gone.”