Man Charged in Wreck That Killed Affton, Missouri Fire Chief

AFFTON, MO (AP) -- A 44-year-old suspected thief was charged with second-degree murder Friday for causing a wreck that killed a suburban fire chief.

Claudex Simmons, 44, of Jennings, was also charged with armed criminal action, resisting by flight, stealing and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Affton Fire Protection District chief Jerry Buehne, 64, was driving to work Thursday morning when his car was struck by a car allegedly driven by Simmons. Police were trying to pull over Simmons, who was suspected in a theft from a Walgreen's store moments earlier. But authorities said they were not chasing Simmons' car.

Buehne had been with the fire district for nearly four decades, roughly half spent as an assistant chief.

Simmons was ejected from his car and hospitalized in serious condition. After he recovers, he will be jailed on $250,000 bond.

Visitation for Buehne is scheduled for Sunday, and a funeral will be Monday.