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‘Sneezing’ driver who was in fatal wreck pleads guilty to imprudent driving

Updated: 2013-04-11T04:02:49Z

A driver whose untimely sneeze apparently contributed to an accident that killed one woman and left her young son paralyzed pleaded guilty Wednesday to operating a motor vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner.

In addition to that misdemeanor count, Kathryn Brady pleaded guilty in Clay County Circuit Court to failing to register an out-of-state vehicle while a Missouri resident.

The Nov. 14 accident happened on County Road DD east of Smithville. According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, after Brady started “sneezing violently,” her eastbound minivan crossed the center line and struck another car head-on.

The impact killed the second driver, Laura McClendon, 30. Her son, Jett Kirkland, now 2, was left paralyzed.

Brady faces up to 18 months in jail and a fine of $1,500 on the two convictions.

The court ordered a sentencing assessment and scheduled the sentencing hearing for June 12.

To reach Brian Burnes, call 816-234-4120 or send email to

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