Fleeing driver causes Wichita crash that kills woman, 12-year-old girl

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Rosemary McElroy Rosemary McElroy
Mia Collins (March 30, 2019) and Christopher English (April 2018) Mia Collins (March 30, 2019) and Christopher English (April 2018)

Wichita police say a driver fleeing from police caused a crash downtown that killed a 70-year-old woman, a 12-year-old girl and injured several others.

It happened at around 1:40 p.m. Sunday when an officer spotted a stolen BMW SUV in the 1100 block of North Broadway. Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said the driver headed south on Broadway, turned east on 9th Street and then south down an alley. She then began to park on the south side of Interdale Apartments. 

The officer activated his emergency lights and attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Ramsay said the suspect then fled the apartments and turned south on Broadway at a high rate of speed. 

"The WPD officer waited for southbound traffic to clear, turned south, activated his siren and attempted to catch up to the suspect, which was then passing Murdock," Ramsay said in a statement.

"Approximately 2 1/2 blocks away from Douglas, the officer observed the BMW involved in a three-vehicle wreck," which involved a Toyota Camry and a Chevy HHR. 

The woman driving the Camry, Maria Wood, and the 12-year-old passenger, Rosemary McElroy, were killed, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol. McElroy was ejected from the vehicle. 

A passenger in the Camry, 36-year-old Wichita-based musician Jenny Wood, suffered critical injuries. She is Maria Wood's daughter and McElroy's aunt.

The driver of the third vehicle, 65-year-old Alfred Angel, as well as the two in the stolen vehicle were hospitalized in serious condition.

The patrol identified the 24-year-old driver of the stolen BMW as Mia Collins and her 38-year-old passenger as Christopher English. 

The crash remains under investigation. All but English were wearing seat belts.

Court records show Collins was last arrested on March 30 for a probation violation. She has prior arrests for theft, possession of drug paraphernalia and contempt of court. 

Kansas Department of Corrections records state English is on parole for convictions of flee and elude, drug possession and criminal possession of a firearm. He was paroled on February 15. 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family of the two who died. A second account was established to help pay for Jenny Wood's medical expenses. 

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