An Independence man was driving while intoxicated on marijuana when his pickup truck raced off an I-435 exit ramp at 90 mph and rammed through two cars, killing two children, according to charges filed Thursday.
Jackson County prosecutors charged Terry A. Gray, 51, with multiple felonies in connection with the crash Sept. 17.
Ryan Hampel, a 3-year-old Independence girl, and Emely Samantha “Sami” Raudales, 16, of Shawnee, died in the crash on East 23rd Street. Traffic was heavy with cars leaving the Kansas City Chiefs game.
Court documents show that Gray told police that he woke up after the crash and had no memory of it. Blood tests showed that Gray had high levels of THC — Tetrahydrocannabinol — the drug in marijuana, the documents said.
Investigators said Gray was traveling at 90 mph in a black Dodge Ram pickup truck as he exited northbound I-435 at 23rd Street. The truck hit the rear end of a Toyota RAV 4 and propelled it through the intersection into an eastbound Hyundai Sonata. The Toyota was thrown all the way across the intersection. The Hyundai was smashed into a pole.
Emely Raudales was in the rear seat of the Toyota. The driver, Edwin G. Raudales-Flores, survived life-threatening injuries.
Ryan Hampel was in the Hyundai. The driver, Matthew Hampel, suffered serious injuries.
Gray’s truck ended up on the far side of the intersection, past the smashed Toyota. Gray was able to exit the truck and he remained on the scene and talked with investigators.
Gray told investigators at the scene that he normally takes medicine for seizures but had recently run out. He said he did not drink alcohol and that he had not smoked any marijuana that day.
Prosecutors filed a variety of charges against Gray — meaning there will be alternatives available for a jury to decide if it goes to trial.
Gray is charged with two counts of driving while intoxicated resulting in death or two counts of involuntary manslaughter, and two counts DWI causing serious physical injury or second-degree assault.