An Independence man who caused a wreck that killed another man was sentenced Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court to 15 years in prison.
Andrew K. Stark, 24, was found guilty at a bench trial in April of second-degree murder and assault in the Jan. 13, 2014, wreck that killed Jason R. Lewis. Stark, who was on probation for driving with a revoked license at the time, ran a red light at 23rd Street and Hardesty Avenue and broadsided the vehicle driven by Lewis.
Stark also was convicted in April of resisting arrest, driving with a revoked or suspended license and leaving the scene of an injury accident.
Minutes before the fatal crash, prosecutors said, an Independence police officer operating radar at 23rd Street and Hall Road in the western part of the city saw a speeding silver Saab almost run into another vehicle. The officer followed the Saab as it drove more than 100 mph, weaving in and out of traffic, west of 23rd Street and into eastern Kansas City.
The Independence officer ended the pursuit east of 23rd and Topping Avenue. The Saab continued west toward Hardesty, where it ran a red light and crashed into Lewis’ vehicle.
Stark ran but was arrested when a bystander pointed him out to police.
Lewis, a 35-year-old father of five children, including 6-year-old twins, died at the scene. He was driving friends home from a trip to the grocery store when Stark hit his vehicle. Two of Lewis’ passengers suffered serious injuries.
Stark also pleaded guilty in December in another case to charges of driving with his license revoked and driving without proper insurance.
Prosecutors noted when Stark was charged in January 2014 that he had five prior convictions for driving with a suspended or revoked license and two convictions for leaving the scene of a traffic crash.