The impact of a hit-and-run crash that killed a man in Independence on Friday was so great that it ripped the roof off the victim’s 2014 Mazda.
The Dodge Ram truck that struck the Mazda drove over the top of the passenger vehicle before the driver sped off and eventually abandoned the truck to flee on foot, according to court documents.
On Monday, 21-year-old Theron Stockbridge of Sibley was charged with involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident. Bond was set at $100,000, cash only.
The victim, who was not breathing and did not have a pulse when paramedics arrived, was identified as 34-year-old Aaron C. Overman of Buckner.
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The crash occurred about 9:15 p.m. Friday at U.S. 24 and Blue Mills Road in northeastern Independence. Police said Overman was eastbound and slowing to a stop or stopped at the intersection when his vehicle was struck from behind. The Mazda rotated and was knocked off the roadway. The truck then continued traveling east on U.S. 24.
Witnesses told police the truck driver was speeding and driving recklessly just before the crash. One witness said she did not see any brake lights on the truck. Another witness followed the truck until the driver stopped and became aggressive toward his pursuer before continuing east a short distance. The witness said the driver then got out and fled on foot.
On Saturday, an uncle of Stockbridge told a Jackson County Sheriff’s Department deputy that he had loaned his business truck to Stockbridge, who told him he had wrecked it.
Deputies then went to Stockbridge’s home in Sibley and noticed he had an injured lip and scratches on his neck and face.
Stockbridge told police he had spent the previous evening with family members at the Flamingo Lounge on U.S. 40, where he had injured his face in a fight with a girl at the bar. Stockbridge’s mother, however, told police her son was not at the lounge Friday night. Stockbridge told police his mother was lying because she was upset with him for spending money when he owed her.
The witness who followed the hit-and-run driver identified Stockbridge from a photo lineup.
Stockbridge was out of jail on bond for a previous charge of tampering with a motor vehicle, property damage in the first degree and resisting and interfering with an arrest. Online court records show he also faces a car theft charge in a Lee’s Summit case.