A man allegedly caught in a stolen work truck Wednesday raced away across south Kansas City, smashing into other vehicles in a pair of hit-and-run crashes that left an 79-year-old man dead.
Police identified the victim as David L. Cannon of Kansas City.
Cannon was driving a pickup truck in the intersection of Wornall and Bannister roads about 11 a.m. when the stolen work truck — a converted ambulance pulling a trailer — ran through the stoplight from eastbound Bannister and sent the pickup airborne, police said.
Cannon died at a nearby hospital.
“He did nothing wrong,” said Sgt. Deb Randol of the Kansas City Police Department’s accident investigation unit.
Police were looking for the driver of the work truck Wednesday afternoon. After the wrecks, the man ran away to the east, witnesses said, and police brought in teams of dogs and a helicopter to track him.
The chase began in Overland Park when the son of the owner of the work truck saw it stopped at a stoplight, police said.
The son approached the truck and tried to get the driver to get out of the truck, but the driver sped away. The son returned to his vehicle and gave chase while talking to Overland Park police dispatch on his phone.
The stolen truck sped east on Bannister Road into Kansas City, where it ran a red light at Summit Street and hit a silver Hyundai but kept going. The truck sped on to Wornall, where it hit the southbound Ford F-150 in the fatal crash.
The pickup truck was launched into the air and hit a Mini Cooper. The stolen truck careened toward the corner and wedged between a light pole and a utility pole, knocking down the power lines.
A black Ford Taurus was hit by some of the debris from the crash that was strewn across the intersection. That driver had minor injuries.
Police did not have a description of the driver of the stolen truck immediately available.
Randol advised against following stolen vehicles if you see them.
“That’s a property crime that can be recovered at a later date,” Randol said, pointing at the stolen work truck. “If you see your vehicle, just call 911.”
Provide dispatchers the location of the vehicle and a description of the driver if possible, she said.
“You don’t want to confront these suspects because you don’t know who they are, if they are armed or what they could do,” she said.
Property can be replaced, Randol said. A life cannot.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the TIPS Hotline, 816-474-TIPS (8477).