Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rash of crashes result in 7 fatalities in 5 days

Seven people have died in vehicle crashes in Kansas City in the last five days. That’s a very high number in a very short period of time. With 55 so far, we have six more crash fatalities at this point this year than we did in 2008.

The first crash happened at 1:47 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 20. A green Chevy 1500 was westbound on Independence Avenue when the driver apparently lost control of his vehicle, left the roadway to the south and struck a large, wooden light pole. One passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. A second passenger died the next day at about 5 p.m.

The next fatal crash took place less than four hours later at about 5:21 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 20. A man was driving a white Scion the wrong way (eastbound) in the westbound lanes of Interstate 70. As he approached Prospect Avenue, he struck a white Toyota Corolla head on. The driver of the wrong-way Scion was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver of the Corolla was taken to an area hospital in serious condition.

The third fatal crash happened about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night, Sept. 22, at U.S. 40 Highway and Interstate 435. A gold Mercury 4-door, occupied by four male subjects, had been eastbound on 40 Highway when the driver lost control and allowed the vehicle to cross the center line, into the westbound lanes of the roadway. The vehicle struck a Mercury station wagon head-on as it traveled westbound. Two passengers of the 4-door died at the scene and the other two were transported with life-threatening injuries. The two occupants of the station wagon were transported to hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. At about 3 a.m. yesterday, Sept. 23, officers investigating the crash were notified that a third passenger from the 4-door died at an area hospital.

Finally, at about 9:23 a.m. yesterday morning, Sept. 23, a motorcyclist was killed at 17th and Ewing while fleeing from police officers in a neighboring city. The pursuit began near Westport and Blue Ridge. It entered Kansas City and ended at 17th and Ewing when the motorcyclist disregarded a stop sign while southbound and struck an eastbound flat-bed truck. The man died at the scene, and the neighboring police department told Kansas City police the motorcycle was stolen.

Please, please be safe out there. Our investigators have not determined the causes of all these crashes yet or why the drivers in some of them started going the wrong way into oncoming traffic. Some common causes of such crashes are intoxication, distraction and speeding. For your sake and the sake of the lives of those around you, please abstain from these actions and drive responsibly.

Send comments to