UPDATE: Woman 'extremely critical' following crash in north Wichita

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- Residents living near 17th Street and North Grove woke up to an unpleasant surprise. A car had crashed into a tree and caught fire.

A woman was driving southbound on Grove when police say she lost control of her sedan, most likely because of speed. The woman was ejected from the car. Some neighbors say it is in good fortune that she was not in the car following the crash because soon after, it caught fire.

Isaac Laird heard the crash and ran outside. He just happened to have his cell phone in his hand, when he saw the flames, he turned on the camera function and let the video roll.

"You don't see that everyday, I have never seen a car actually on fire," Laird said, "I though the car was going to explode."

The fire was put out relatively quickly, but Grove was shut down for hours so police could investigate causes.

Laird was so close to the scene, he was able to describe every detail. "I smelt everything, I smelt the oil in the car, I smelt the car burning, all the rubber burning, the tires melting on the pavement, people screaming...," Laird said.

The woman was taken to Wesley Medical Center in very critical condition.

Police say speed was a definite factor but there is the possibility that alcohol played a role in this accident.

Original Story

A woman is in extremely critical condition following a crash early Sunday morning in north Wichita.

It happened around 2:20 a.m. near 18th Street North and Grove. Sgt. Travis Rakestraw said a four-door passenger car was heading south on Grove at a high rate of speed when it crashed into a tree.

The driver was ejected in the crash and suffered what Sgt. Rakestraw described as "extremely critical injuries." She was taken to Wesley Medical Center. Her name and age were not provided, and her current condition is unknown.

No one else was in the car.

The car caught fire after the crash, but crews quickly extinguished the blaze.

Investigators are trying to determine whether alcohol played a role in the crash.

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