Eddie Johnson Jr., 45, was on his way to a house fire six miles west of Alton when he lost control, went off the left side of the highway, hit a driveway approach, and rolled his police cruiser several times. He was ejected from the vehicle.
The crash was on U.S. 160 about five miles west of Alton. An ambulance took the officer to the hospital in West Plains but he did not survive. State troopers think Johnson was not wearing his safety belt.
The Alton Fire Department was responding with other area fire departments to a house fire at an area known locally as Royal Oak. The fire destroyed the home.
Besides being a full-time police officer and volunteer fire chief, Johnson also was an Oregon County reserve sheriff's deputy. He'd been fire chief since 2010 and worked in the Alton Police Department for nine years. His wife and three children survive him.
U.S. 160 was closed for several hours while a Missouri State Highway Patrol major crash investigation team did its measurements and investigation.