WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Highway Patrol is investigating a Wichita police pursuit that ended with the suspect police were pursuing crashing into a victim. The victim later died. It happened at the intersection of 21st and Arkansas just after noon on Monday.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 2007 Volkswagon Jetta, driven by 18-year-old Alex Davis the suspect, was eastbound on 21st and Arkansas. A 2008 Ford Fusion, driven by 91-year-old James Dexter of Wichita the victim, was heading southbound on Arkansas. Authorities said the Jetta ran a red light and struck the Fusion. Dexter was taken to St. Francis. He died of his injuries.
Wichita police said an officer was on routine patrol when she saw the Volkswagon run a stop sign at 23rd and Payne. Police said the officer turned around and began to pursue the car. The car turned onto Burns Street and traveled down to 21st Street.
“The suspect turns onto East 21st from Burns, and the officer loses sight of the vehicle on the corner,” said Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay. “The next thing she sees was the vehicle crashed at 21st and Arkansas.”
Police said the pursuit lasted around 14 seconds, and the suspect driving that Volkswagon fled on foot and tossed a gun. Another officer near the intersection caught up and arrested him. Police said the man had stolen the Volkswagon.
“The suspect was a violent offender. He was arrested and jailed on two burglary accounts and three theft charges in district court,” added Ramsay. “He was released pending those charges.”
According to booking sheets, Davis was arrested on the charge murder in the second degree; unintentional but reckless. He is also facing burglary and theft charges.
The Kansas Highway Patrol was contacted to independently conduct their own investigation into the accident.
Meanwhile, Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said he spoke to the family of 91-year-old James Dexter.
“It is heartbreaking for them. It is a tough way to lose a parent,” said Chief Ramsay. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mr. Dexter.”