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Olathe man charged in fatal crash

The driver of a stolen car involved in a fatal traffic crash Thursday morning after fleeing police on both sides of the state line has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Casey Allen Cordell, 24, of Olathe, who recently had been released from prison, also faces a charge of second-degree assault in Jackson County Circuit Court.

One of his passengers, Christopher L. Ford, 26, died, and a 19-year-old passenger was injured critically. The driver of a second vehicle also was injured in the 2:17 a.m. crash at 18th Street and Prospect Avenue.

The chase started a little after 2 a.m. when a Mission police officer attempted to pull over a speeding red Honda Accord on Shawnee Mission Parkway. The Honda’s license plate had been reported stolen in Lenexa, according to Mission police spokesman Capt. David Moloy.

He said officers from Fairway and Westwood joined the pursuit, but all of the Kansas officers discontinued the pursuit after the Honda drove into Missouri.

Kansas City police said their officers did not get involved until the Honda nearly collided with a police patrol car.

The patrol car was stopped at Broadway and Armour Boulevard when the westbound Accord came skidding across three lanes of traffic, almost hitting the police car before speeding north on Broadway, Kansas City Police Sgt. Jim Fuller said.

The Kansas City officers turned around and began trying to catch up with the vehicle, which they were told was believed to be stolen. They did not activate their lights or siren, Fuller said.

The Honda was moving at a high rate of speed and ran several stop signs and red flashing lights, according to court documents.

At 18th and Prospect, it collided with a pickup truck driven by a Kansas City Water Services Department employee.

Fuller said that according to the initial investigation, the Accord didn’t stop at a red flashing traffic signal. The northbound truck, which had a yellow flashing signal, struck it on the passenger side.

Officers were able to get Cordell out of the car, but emergency crews had to cut off the top of the car to free the two passengers. Ford, who was the front passenger, was pronounced dead at a hospital. The rear passenger was taken to the hospital with critical, life-threatening injuries.

Cordell and the city employee suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

A check of the car’s vehicle identification number showed that it had been reported stolen in Overland Park.

Jackson County prosecutors on Thursday requested a $250,000 bond for Cordell. He has a lengthy criminal record dating to 2003 when he was a juvenile, according to Johnson County District Court records.

He had been released from prison Dec. 19 after serving nearly a year for a probation violation on drug charges, according to Kansas Department of Corrections records. He had prior convictions for drug possession, theft, criminal damage to property and assault, according to court records.

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