UPDATE: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Wichita's police chief released new information in the chase that led to a man's death yesterday.
According to Chief Norman Williams, it began when an officer was checking on a stalled car near Kellogg and Broadway around 10 a.m Tuesday. Another driver approached the officer and told him about a stolen truck nearby, and that the suspect may be armed with a knife or toy gun.
Officers responded to the area provided by that person, near Osie and Exchange, and saw a parked, green 2004 GMC truck. An officer drew his weapon when he saw a man sitting in the driver's seat, heeding the warning that he could be armed.
The suspect quickly sped away, and two police units began chasing him. The truck went south on Exchange, then east on Funston at a high rate of speed.
Chief Williams said both officers had lights and sirens on, and were stopping at intersections.
Less than a minute later, a supervisor called off the chase as the suspect was getting further away. Just after the pursuit was canceled, another officer reported seeing a puff of smoke in the distance.
"As the supervisor is saying, 'Discontinue the chase,' unbeknownst to the supervisor, the accident had already occurred because there again, it happened so fast," said Williams.
Officers quickly arrived at a crash scene at Wichita Street and Harry, where the suspect had run a stop sign and hit another truck. A 38-year-old Hispanic man in that other truck was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity has not yet been released.
The 34-year-old suspect driving the stolen truck was taken to an area hospital where he has been treated, and since booked into the Sedgwick County Jail.
The green truck, driven by the suspect, had been reported stolen on Friday from the 2800 block of West 13th Street.
In addition, the tag on the stolen vehicle belonged to another vehicle. The license plate was from a 1988 Honda that had been stolen Monday from the 1300 block of North Wilbur Lane. This stolen Honda was recovered in the 3800 block of South Broadway.
Chief Williams said this suspect was also involved in a similar situation in late December after running from officers in a stolen Corvette. He ended up crashing into a pole near Harry and Rock Road and was hospitalized, but was never arrested. A toxicology report is still pending in that case.
Chief Williams said the case will soon be presented to the district attorney's office. The man is expected to be charged later this week.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
One person is dead and another person is hurt after what started as a police chase ends in a crash in South Wichita.
Emergency crews were on the scene at Harry and Wichita Streets shortly after 10 a.m.
Police said they started pursuing what was reported as a stolen green pickup truck, near Osie Street and the Arkansas River. Officers called off the chase because the truck was driving recklessly.
"The supervisor involved with this chase determined there was not enough to continue that chase. It was terminated but the suspect had already fled," said Capt. Max Tenbrook, Wichita Police. "Driving the way he was, that had something to do with why it was terminated."
Police said the stolen green truck ran a stop sign at Harry and Wichita, and struck a black pickup truck.
"Saw a green truck [at] high speed, and then just instant impact with another vehicle," said Jason Potucek, who saw the accident inside the Harry Street Carpet store. "You almost felt the impact. Our windows were kind of shaking."
The driver of the black truck died in the crash. The driver of the stolen green truck was injured and taken into police custody.
Harry Street was closed from Broadway to the Arkansas River for several hours.