County identifies 2 killed in fiery crash at McConnell AFB

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Fro left: Matt Pyles (Facebook) and Isaiah Chandler (GoFundMe) Fro left: Matt Pyles (Facebook) and Isaiah Chandler (GoFundMe)
By dawn, Monday, December 31st, 2018, crews had repaired the damage a fiery crash the night before did to this little used back entrance to McConnell Air Force Base. By dawn, Monday, December 31st, 2018, crews had repaired the damage a fiery crash the night before did to this little used back entrance to McConnell Air Force Base.
By midday on December 31st, 2018, this bent fence post was one of the few remaining signs of the fiery crash that killed two at a little used back entrance to McConnell Air Force Base. By midday on December 31st, 2018, this bent fence post was one of the few remaining signs of the fiery crash that killed two at a little used back entrance to McConnell Air Force Base.
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Sedgwick County officials have identified the two people who died in a fiery crash outside McConnell Air Force Base this week.

Spokesperson Kate Flavin said the Regional Forensic Science Center confirmed the two victims were 17-year-old Isaiah Chandler and 29-year-old Matthew Pyles. 

Crews were called around 11 p.m. Sunday to a little-used back entrance of the base near 31st Street South and George Washington Boulevard after a vehicle was spotted on fire. Inside, authorities found the two bodies.

The Air Force said in a news release that the investigation indicates the car hit a barrier at a high rate of speed. The release did not say who was driving.

"We are deeply saddened to lose two of our neighbors," said Col. Josh Olson, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Commander. "We are grateful to live in a community that will come together to support their family."

The base and local law enforcement continue investigating the crash.


Previous story:

Authorities are investigating after two people died in a vehicle fire at McConnell Air Force Base.

Crews were called around 11 p.m. Sunday to a little used back entrance of the base near 31st Street South and George Washington Boulevard after a vehicle was spotted on fire. Inside, authorities found two bodies.

Neighbors say they heard the crash but didn't realize what it was, at first.

"It was like a loud bang noise," said Bowser Vecito.  "When we came out I was like, 'Holy c***!  There's a car on fire!"

They say the base barricaded this particular back entrance off after September 11th.  It's only used occasionally now to admit buses during events like the airshow.  Which is why, now knowing exactly what happened, has some neighbors a bit concerned.

"I don't know what happened.  There was people out here, like rubbernecking and stuff. I don't know.  It was kind of nerve wracking," said Vecito.  "You know? Like there was a... you don't know, a terrorist or whatever."

The base had the gate closed back up and barricaded again by dawn.  They say only after they know what happened can they determine if any security changes need to be made.

Public Affairs officers say they can't remember something like this happening before.  They believe the car was coming down 31st and crashed into the barricaded entrance.

Base officials are working with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office and the Wichita Police Department. The investigation is ongoing.  McConnell has asked the Sedgwick County Coroner's Office to identify the victims.  They say the two were so badly burned it could take awhile to identify them.

No other information has been released.

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