Motorist killed in KC by vehicle fleeing Independence police

01/13/2014 11:21 AM

01/14/2014 12:46 AM

One man was killed and two women injured Monday morning in east Kansas City when a car that had fled from Independence police ran a red light and struck their car.

The 10:35 a.m. wreck at 23rd Street and Hardesty Avenue killed the 35-year-old male driver of the second car and injured both of his passengers, a 35-year-old woman who was reported to be in critical condition and a 17-year-old girl who was in serious condition. Police on Monday night identified the man who was killed as Jason Lewis of Kansas City.

A 22-year-old Independence man who was driving the fleeing vehicle ran from the scene, but Kansas City officers arrested him nearby a few minutes later.

Independence police said the wreck happened after an officer operating radar at 23rd Street and Hall Road in western Independence saw a car traveling at high speed that almost struck another vehicle.

The officer pursued the speeder west on 23rd but ended the chase at 23rd and Wheeling Avenue in Kansas City, about four blocks east of where the crash occurred.

Independence police Maj. Ken Jarnagin said the officer stopped the pursuit because of the suspect’s high rate of speed and because the driver was facing only traffic charges. The officer continued driving west at normal speed and came upon the wreck a short time later.

Douglas Baltezore was watching TV inside his house nearby when he heard a loud crash and went outside. Baltezore said he saw the driver of the suspect vehicle running with several bystanders chasing him west on 23rd and then south on Van Brunt Boulevard. Officers took the man into custody on 24th Street. He was taken to a hospital to be examined.