Missouri Highway Patrol officials say they know what happened in the death of Trooper Michael Newton who died last May after his Ford Crown Victoria was rear-ended along Interstate 70 in West Central Missouri but it might be a while before the Patrol releases its findings. Patrol Spokesman Captain Chris Ricks says National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigators looked over the wreckage, along with the Patrol and several other interested parties from outside the state. Ricks says across the country, there have been about a dozen other rear-end explosions in the Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars over the past several years. Ricks says his department’s investigators won’t publicly comment on what they have already concluded from the accident until the federal report comes out, possibly in November or December. And he says even then, the Patrol might not comment because of all the pending litigation. Ricks says, in the meantime, thePatrol has made recommendations to troopers to lessen the chances of explosions in the Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars.
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