UPDATE: John Foster Courtney: South-City Man, 29, Killed in Hit-and-Run

Categories: Crime

4100-manchester-3.jpg
John Courtney, 29, was apparently killed on Manchester by a hit-and-run driver.
UPDATE: The Circuit Attorney's Office announced at 3:30 p.m. that Justin M. Kramarczyk has been charged with felony leaving the scene. See the end of our post for more details.

Here's a sad update to a story we briefly mentioned earlier in our crime roundup: The young man who was struck and killed by a Hyundai just after midnight July 4 has been identified as John Foster Courtney.

Courtney, 29, lived in the 2200 block of Oregon, near Russell and Nebraska. Police originally reported that he was struck while crossing Manchester at Sarah Street, although KSDK reports that he was merely standing outside a bar on Manchester.

Witnesses tell Daily RFT that the bar in question was Just John, where Courtney's rugby team had been serving as guest bartenders.


The Hyundai fled the scene; its driver was arrested yesterday afternoon. Police have identified him as a 24-year-old white man. Police investigators are presenting their case to prosecutors today; we'll get a name and a mugshot for the suspect if warrants are issued.

Courtney died at Saint Louis University Hospital at 11:30 last night -- 23 hours after the hit-and-run.

We'll have more on this sad story as it develops.

UPDATE: Our readers are telling us, and the Post-Dispatch confirms, that Courtney was down the street in front of Just John when he was hit. Courtney, a rugby player, was part of the St. Louis Crusaders, which had been guest bartending at the place that night.

UPDATE: This afternoon, the circuit attorney's office identified the suspect in the case as 24-year-old Justin Kramarczyk. He's been charged with a felony count of leaving the scene of an accident.

Kramarczyk was observed drinking prior to the incident, according to a probable cause statement from police investigators. Also, per the statement, "people observed Defendant driving fast prior to Defendant running down" Courtney.

According to the statement, Kramarczyk returned to his home after striking Courtney with his Hyundai. Police subsequently found damage to his front windshield and hair and blood "visible on the windshield and other areas."


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32 comments
MarkFinkel
MarkFinkel

Fantastic article! I initially discovered your blog a few days ago, and I website the exact same day. I have a number of cool thoughts for some future posts you could write. I'll shoot you an email later. Keep up the great work.

Tchaser99
Tchaser99

Foster and his family are family friends of ours.  I was so shocked and saddened to hear about the news.  Here is a link to his obituary if anyone is interested to see it.

http://www.memphisfuneralhome-...

Lin Staum
Lin Staum

so sad. this is such a busy area FULL of people who are drinking. Sad sad sad!!!!! I will never be able to pass this area without my heart going out to all of the people affected by this.

Julieklopper2000
Julieklopper2000

Was Foster drinking or impaired which caused him to walk out into traffic?

Sarah Coulter
Sarah Coulter

Does anyone know when the services will be for him ?

Jayndoe
Jayndoe

I played kickball with him at times. He was such a great guy and always had me laughing. He will be missed for sure. He put an extreme dent in peoples lives. So sad that his was taken.. R.I.P Foster. 

msshelstl
msshelstl

Kudos to you at the RFT for having more info than all the local news sites. As a friend of Foster's I am thankful to get more information, and am saddened, but not surprised that the driver had been drinking. This was a senseless tragic incident in which many lives were affected. Please keep Foster's family in your thoughts as they go through these trying times.

Liz
Liz

Such a sad event. I was at Atomic Cowboy when this happened and was shocked. I wish the city would put up signs with flashing yellow lights to alert drivers to this pedestrian area and have more crosswalks that maybe aren't just at major intersections in the area.

Josh Dayhoff
Josh Dayhoff

Yes, it was literally right in front of Novak's Bar and Grill. I was in front of Just John's when it occurred and was one of the first people to get to Foster.

Mahtchew
Mahtchew

It was actually in the street between Just John's and Novak's that Foster was struck by the vehicle.  Those bars are slightly down Manchester from Attitudes. 

Bigsqueez9000
Bigsqueez9000

Sarah services will I'n I'n foster home town..he was on our rugby team..his family will give us more info on the time and stuff like that..

msshelstl
msshelstl

They are supposed to be Friday and Saturday in his home town of Memphis, MO.

Sarah Fenske
Sarah Fenske

Hey guys -- thanks for the info -- it appears you are correct about the location, and we've updated the post to make that clear. Josh, that must have been so horrible to witness. Really a terrible situation all around.

Sarah Coulter
Sarah Coulter

ty my friend was in college with him and was wanting me to find out when it was

Mahtchew
Mahtchew

Do they know which funeral home the services will be held yet? 

Josh Dayhoff
Josh Dayhoff

Having served 4 years in the military and two deployments to Iraq as well as having lost people in my life, my first instinct was to get to him, help him and call 911. It's never a pleasant experience having to deal with something like that, but my training and experience taught me how to handle it appropriately and effectively. Myself and the other people on site did the most that we could in order to aid him and I was saddened to hear about his passing last night. I feel horrible for his family and I wish there was some way I could reach them. I wrote a poem today about the experience and what I've learned which, since I have no other way of getting it to them, I will post here in the hopes that someone can forward it.  ____As the early morning turned to riseI heard the crash and was quick to seeAn act of evil crossed your pathA fate forced undeservingly.

I knelt beside your body so stillPraying to God that your soul was still hereYour face was serene as my heart racedBut it was the peace that hinted the end was near

I knew you not in life but have heard your nameYour kindness and compassion were well knownNo one who knew you has a foul word to sayAnd in my heart your image has only grown

From now until death I will remember that dayYour face is forever etched in my memoryThough you and I had never before metThe stories of your life will always inspire me

With a soul of gold shining bright as the sunYou were truly one of a kindWhat an amazing man, John Foster CourtneyYour heart will live on in both others and mine____

I pray for his family that they are able to come together in these difficult times. It is through the love of Foster and each other that the pain that comes from such a loss may over time begin to heal. My deepest condolences are with them always.

 Stacie
Stacie

I am Foster's cousin and I live here in Memphis so I have the details of the service if you'd like to email me at whitmom02@yahoo:disqus.com, I am not comfortable posting that information here.

memphis neighbor
memphis neighbor

The funeral home in charge of the arrangements is the Memphis Funeral Home.

Josh Dayhoff
Josh Dayhoff

I'm sorry that you had to see it. I know it wasn't a pretty sight. I wish you the best and hope that everything works out for you.

Rich Patrick
Rich Patrick

Josh,I was there.  I watched you there.  I was one of Foster's fellow rugger's waiting for him in Novaks.  But with the commotion towards the door I wasn't able to get outside but watch through the window.  I didn't even recognize his face, I just tried to not vomit with how graphic it all was. I didn't even know it was him...

I decided to go home and woke up the next morning only to learn it was Foster.  The imagery through the window haunts me still, and I'm getting help to work through it.  But I wanted to say thank you, for being there at that moment for him dude.  If it was me, and had I recognized him, I would have been useless.  Best to you, friend.Rich

Kathleen
Kathleen

Josh, That is a beautiful poem! You sound like the kind of man any mother would be proud to have for a son. Thank you for being kind and compassionate enough for a fellow human being to be there with him. I did not know Foster either, but by everyone's comments on FB, here and the people that did know him, he sounds like he was the light in everyone's life. I looked at his FB.....he was a beautiful man and he seemed to be loved by all. I sincerely hope he did not suffer. My heartfelt condolences to all that knew him and to his family. His mother's heart must be breaking.

Josh Dayhoff
Josh Dayhoff

Thank you for your kind words, Marsha. Such kindness and compassion is better deserved by his family and direct friends who have suffered the greatest loss. 

An amazing guy like Foster surely had just of an amazing family. I'm eternally grateful to have been graced with such a wonderful human being as he, and again, I'm honored to have been there for him in such a critical time. The stories of his life and those of his family have touched me deeply, far beyond any words can explain. May the greatest of God's love be with them as they face this most heartaching loss. He was certainly a good man and deserves nothing less than our admiration, respect and appreciation for the life he lived as we continue with our own, carrying his heart within ours. Again, thank you.

Marsha_monroe
Marsha_monroe

Thank you  for  this  poem. I too have a  daughter  who  grew up Acouple of  years  ahead of  foster, but  whose mother  was  very  involved  in all  three  of  my  daughters  lives,as a  school  administrater  and  friend.It  amazes me  as a  total stanger and  in  the  short  time  u  ministered to  him , you  have a wonderful insight  in  how  we  all  feel  about  foster and  his  family.You  must  know  christ, and  have a  love  for  humaity  to  be  so  sensitive.again  thankyou.,may  godd  always be  with you,in your  journey,whereever it  may  take you.

 Stacie
Stacie

Josh-I have copied your poem and printed it off to give to my aunt-she will be grateful I'm sure. Thank you again-

Keith Dinsmore
Keith Dinsmore

His mother, Connie Courtney, and his father, the late John Courtney, were friends of mine in college at Kirksville.  Wonderful people and I know that Foster was the light of his mother's life.  I am sure that she would appreciate very much having the touching tribute ou have written.  If you will email me at keithdinsmore@yahoo.com, I will let you know how you can be in touch with her.  Thank you again for the wonderful poem and for your efforts in trying to save his life.

 Stacie
Stacie

Josh, I want to say thank you...for being there with him when he was in need and for your beautiful poem. Foster is my first cousin and was a beautiful person. You have nailed that to a tee-we all appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we seek peace in knowing how many lives he has touched in only 29 years of life. Thank you

Betsy
Betsy

This is beautiful. It has been posted to FB, and I will repost, so it reaches as many in our community as it can. Foster and I were best friends in high school, and he touched the lives of so many. Thank you.  

memphis neighbor
memphis neighbor

I hope you don't mind, but I am going to  post this on my Facebook page. I live in Foster's hometown (next door to his mother) and thought others would like to read this. Prayers go out to all of his family and friends during this difficult time.

Josh Dayhoff
Josh Dayhoff

Thank you. It was an honor to be there for him in his time of need.

Suzanne Snell Cowell-Wood
Suzanne Snell Cowell-Wood

I watched this young man grow up with my youngest daughter.  His mother was instrumental in hundreds of children's life in a rural county in Northeast Missouri.  I being a nurse do so appreciate your poem.  Thank you for being there for him.

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