Wellington Man Going To Prison For Fatal DUI Crash

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Wellington man is going to prison for a DUI crash that left a teenager dead. Patrick Burr admitted he was driving drunk when he hit another car last October near 40th and Oliver in Sumner County. 19 year-old Brayden Popplewell was killed.

Burr learned Thursday that he'll spend the next five years behind bars for the crash. Meanwhile, Popplewell's family doesn't think that's enough.

"Five years is hardly any time," said Laura Popplewell, Brayden's mother.

Burr was driving a car with three friends last October. As he came to the intersection, he failed to yield at the sign and crashed into another car.

"I'm just hoping, with the underage drinking in Sumner County, that the laws are upheld," Popplewell said. "That it's followed through and that the person or underage drinker will do the penalty and learn from it."

Burr was sentenced to five years in prison for the crash/ Not enough, says Brayden's mother.

"After prison, Mr. Burr will have a chance to live his life,Popplewell said as she began to get emotional. "Brayden will never have that chance. Her chance is gone. I just hope that he gets out and lives a productive life."

Meanwhile, Kansas DUI Victim's Center Spokeswoman Mary Ann Khoury says, too often, drunk driving laws aren't held to standard, especially with young people.

"I think that the laws overall are pretty good, Khoury said. "Implementation of the laws throughout the state is not. That's where we have a problem in Kansas."

The Popplewell's have had a rough year... almost unimaginable. Brayden was involved in a crash that nearly killed her six months before the crash that did take her life. The Popplewell's oldest son was killed in a car crash earlier in 2009.

"We still have a long road ahead of us, said Laura Popplewell. "Our family of six is now down to four. That's tough."

Burr's attorney argued for a lenient sentence from the judge Thursday, saying Burr was not driving recklessly when the accident happened and that he attempted to revive Popplewell until emergency crews arrived. The judge ultimately disagreed and gave Burr the state guideline sentence for the crime.

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