A teenager and a 3-year-old died from injuries they suffered in an “extremely violent” multiple-vehicle crash shortly after the end of the Chiefs game Sunday afternoon, Kansas City police said.
The crash appears to have been caused by a reckless driver who didn’t slow for a red light and slammed at a high speed into the rear of a Toyota SUV, said Sgt. Bill Mahoney, supervisor of accident investigation at Kansas City Police Department.
The 16-year-old girl, identified by police as Emily Raudales, died at a hospital shortly after the crash. Raudales, of Shawnee, Kan., was a backseat passenger in the SUV, which was driven by her father. He remained at a hospital with serious injuries Monday.
On Monday night, police announced that another passenger, a 3-year-old girl, also died as a result of the crash. The child was from Independence. Earlier, police had said the child was listed in extremely critical condition.
One other person was taken to a hospital after the crash, Mahoney said.
“The people who sustained these injuries weren’t doing anything wrong or being reckless in any way,” Mahoney said. “I don’t know how they could have avoided having been in this other than just not been there.”
The crash occurred about 3:50 p.m. on the exit ramp from Interstate 435 to 23rd Street Trafficway.
According to police, a black Dodge pickup, which had a large American flag on a pole in its bed, had been northbound on I-435.
A witness told police that the truck had been swerving in and out of traffic before it took the exit ramp to 23rd Street Trafficway.
Police didn’t find any evidence that the pickup attempted to slow down before it rear-ended a gray Toyota SUV that was stopped at a red light at the intersection. The teen was the passenger in the SUV.
The crash pushed the SUV into the intersection where it struck a red Hyundai and brown Dodge pickup, which were headed east. The force of the collision redirected the Hyundai into a traffic signal pole.
The 3-year-old was a passenger in the Hyundai.
“She was in a child seat; she was properly restrained, but just the severity of the damage to the car was more than the seat could protect her from,” Mahoney said.
The black pickup and the SUV continued across the the west lanes of 23rd Street Trafficway and crashed into a stone wall.
Police took the driver of the black Dodge pickup in for questioning. The driver consented to having his blood drawn so that it could be tested to determine whether he was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
The driver was released pending further investigation. It could take six to eight weeks before lab results are complete and for police to wrap up the investigation.
“Unfortunately, sometimes people’s recklessness; there’s just nothing you can do about it,” Mahoney said. “Everybody did what they could. We had a child in a safety seat; a girl in a stopped vehicle. It always pays to pay attention, but there’s no evidence we’re seeing that any of the other motorists — other than the individual who disregarded the red light — did anything that contributed to this.”