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Olathe West junior dies after falling from Jeep driven by 15-year-old in Lenexa

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Five tips from NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer and B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe) to help teens drive safely and responsibly. (Video by Jill Toyoshiba / The Kansas City Star)

A 17-year-old Olathe West High School junior was fatally injured Saturday when he fell from a Jeep Wrangler driven by a 15-year-old boy, according to Lenexa police.

Ean J. Schulmeister, 17, of Olathe, died at a hospital two days later as a result of his injuries. Lenexa police identified him and released details about the incident in a written statement Wednesday.

The teen was injured shortly after 5 p.m. in the 20900 block of West 101st Street. Police called to the scene found Schulmeister lying in the road.

Witnesses told police that Schulmeister had been a passenger in the back seat of the Jeep as it headed east on 101st Street. A 15-year-old boy was driving and three other passengers rode in the Jeep, police said.

Schulmeister had removed his seat belt and was standing in the Jeep, which had its top and doors off. He was holding onto a strap.

The strap broke and Schulmeister fell from the moving Jeep onto the road, witnesses told police.

The driver stopped immediately and called 911. Schulmeister was taken to a hospital, where he died from his injuries Monday.

A GoFundMe page created earlier this week to help Schulmeister’s family with medical and funeral costs said the teen is survived by four brothers and his parents. His family hoped he could live on through organ donation.

The 15-year-old driver of the Jeep had a valid Restricted Kansas Driver’s License, according to police.

The restrictions placed on the license allow the driver to drive to and from work, to and from school on days when school is in session, only over the most direct and accessible route between the driver’s home and school, or with a licensed adult at least 21 years old.

The license also restricts the driver from transporting any non-sibling minor passengers. None of the passengers in the Jeep Saturday were siblings, police said.

Lenexa police said they issued no citations in Saturday’s incident.

Police said that when they finish their investigation they will forward their report to the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office to decide whether any charges should be filed.

Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.


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