Charges filed in crash that killed mother of KCTV5 reporter

The driver involved in a police chase and traffic crash that killed a Kansas City, Kan., woman on Monday was charged Thursday with felony first-degree murder.

Wyandotte County prosecutors charged Christopher Bradley Stewart in the death of 62-year-old Graciela Olivas.

Police arrested Stewart, 28, shortly after the crash at 34th Street and Shawnee Drive. He initially was jailed on a warrant issued Jan. 10 after he failed to appear in court for sentencing in a drug possession case.

Prosecutors also charged him Thursday with fleeing and eluding and interference with a law enforcement officer, said Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman.

They filed the first-degree murder charge because the death occurred during the commission of the “inherently dangerous” felony of fleeing from police.

Shortly before the crash, an officer attempted to pull over a car allegedly driven by Stewart as it left an area of suspected drug activity, police said. The car sped away, but just a few blocks later it allegedly ran a red light and struck the car driven by Olivas, who was the mother of local television reporter Sandra Olivas.

The Kansas Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate the incident. Troopers want to speak with the occupants of several vehicles that were nearby when the crash occurred. Those people are asked to call 913-782-8100.

Stewart’s bond in the murder case was set at $1 million. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday.