Crime

KC man, allegedly driving drunk with revoked license, charged in deadly hit-and-run

Tow company owners lost employee, and a son, to roadside wrecks

Police were looking for the driver of a black sedan that struck and killed tow truck driver John “Johnny” Stewart, who was helping a motorist on Interstate 35 in Kansas City, North, late Sunday.
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Police were looking for the driver of a black sedan that struck and killed tow truck driver John “Johnny” Stewart, who was helping a motorist on Interstate 35 in Kansas City, North, late Sunday.

A Kansas City man accused of hitting a tow truck driver with his car, killing him, and fleeing the scene Sunday allegedly was driving without a license and had been drinking, according to court documents.

Clay County prosecutors have charged Frankie Lee Jones, 44, with a felony count of leaving the scene of a crash that resulted in a death.

The hit-and-run wreck killed John “Johnny” Stewart, a driver for GT Tow Service of Smithville.

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John “Johnny” Stewart of GT Tow Service of Smithville, Mo., was struck and killed while working a roadside rescue along Interstate 35 in Kansas City, North, late Sunday. Handout photo

Stewart was killed about 10:45 p.m. Sunday on northbound Interstate 35 near the North Brighton Avenue exit. He was helping a woman whose car had broken down.

The woman’s car was loaded and strapped on, and Stewart was apparently headed around the backside of his truck to get in and leave.

He and his truck were hit by a black vehicle with a temporary license plate.

After the crash, the black vehicle sped away, according to police.

A witness told police that he saw the crash and followed a black Chevrolet as it sped away, according to court documents.

The black Chevrolet pulled over and the witness took pictures of the vehicle. The driver approached the witness and asked, “How much money would you like?”

The driver then got back in the vehicle and fled.

Shortly after 7 a.m. Monday, police received a 911 call about a vehicle in the 6800 block of Northeast 116th Terrace in Kansas City, North, that might have been involved in the incident. The caller told police that someone was cleaning the vehicle and that it had damage to its front passenger side.

Arriving officers found a black 2012 Chevrolet Equinox with a temporary tag parked on the street in front of a house. Police found Jones inside the house with his girlfriend.

Jones’ girlfriend later told police that shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday, Jones had called and told her that “he had just hit somebody.” Jones told her he was coming home and she needed to meet him in their driveway.

Jones parked the vehicle in the street. His girlfriend said he appeared to be intoxicated. He then went to sleep.

The girlfriend told police that she woke Jones about 6:30 a.m. Monday after she read about the crash. She told him that he needed to call police.

Police arrived at Jones’ home a short time later.

While being questioned by police, Jones allegedly admitted to driving the Chevrolet Equinox at the time of the crash and then fleeing the scene without stopping. He allegedly told police that he had been drinking and had 6 or 7 beers before the crash.

Police discovered through a computer check that Jones’ drivers license had been revoked.

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