Illegal Street Race at Speeds of 100 MPH Ends in Crash in West Wichita

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email

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A young driver is lucky to be alive after rolling his car Monday during an illegal street race on Maple Street near Towne West Square mall in west Wichita.

The accident happened at about 10 a.m.

The car landed in Karen Evans' front yard. She had just turned on the television. She hadn't even decided what to watch when she heard something outside in the yard.

"It was loud," Evans said. "I haven't heard anything like that until today."

When she went outside, what she found in her front yard was more dramatic, and real, then any television show.

"I saw a car flipped upside down underneath the tree," Evans said.

Inside the mangled silver Trans Am, she saw an 18-year-old man.

People began running in from all directions to help, she said.

"There was a gentleman who pulled him out of the vehicle," Evans said. "There wasn't any bleeding or anything, he was out of it of course."

While out of it, he was not seriously injured, police said. He was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. He later complained of back pain, police said.

Police say the man had been street racing with another vehicle down Maple. An off-duty Butler County sheriff's deputy just happened to be in the area.

"He was going the opposite direction on Maple and he said they passed him going about 100 miles per hour," Sgt. Troy Nedbalek said.

Just moments later, a car pulled out onto Maple near Clara Street.

"The Trans Am avoided striking that car by swerving. It struck the curb went up into the grass area and ended up rolling on its top," Nedbalek said.

The other vehicle, a red sports car, left the scene.

Police say the racing had begun almost three miles west near Maple and Maize.

"People had been seeing them speeding up and racing," Nedbalek said. "They would get to the next intersection, let everyone clear in front of them and then they would begin to race again. It was inevitable this was going to happen."

Although inevitable, it was no less surprising to Evans, even though she lives on a busy street.

"There are some accidents that happen in the middle of the street, but not in my front yard," Evans said.

The 18-year-old driver of the Trans Am has been issued citations for his role in the crash. The red car is still at large. If you have any information, you're encouraged to call Wichita Police or Crimestoppers.

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