Fatality car wreck closes 75th Street and Roe Avenue in Prairie Village

Police and fire crews were on the scene of the fatality accident Friday afternoon.
Police and fire crews were on the scene of the fatality accident Friday afternoon.

A five-vehicle accident at the intersection of Roe Avenue and 75th Street in Prairie Village resulted in one fatality at about 1 p.m. Friday afternoon.

The accident occurred when the driver of a black Mercedes, traveling at speeds estimated at 80 to 100 mph entered the intersection and rear-ended a silver car stopped there for the light. The driver of the silver car was killed in the accident and the driver of the Mercedes fled on foot and was later apprehended by police.

A Prairie Village police officer in the vicinity of 75th Street and Lamar Avenue observed the Mercedes traveling eastbound on 75th at 48 mph in a 35 mph zone. When the officer turned his car around to make a traffic stop for speeding, the Mercedes accelerated rapidly. The police officer, following protocol for high-traffic areas, did not start a pursuit when the Mercedes sped up. When the officer came over the top of the hill and could see the intersection, the accident had already occurred.

Both the Mercedes and the silver car were headed east on 75th Street. The driver of the silver car was pronounced dead at the scene.  Two other cars that were on the east side of Roe headed west on 75th were then hit by the Mercedes which came to a stop in the northeast corner of the intersection. A white pickup truck, believed to be turning off northbound Roe, also was hit.

The Mercedes came to the intersection of 75th Street and Roe Avenue traveling at a speed police and witnesses of the accident estimate could have been as high as 100 mph. The silver car was stopped for the traffic light when the Mercedes hit it. A total of five cars were involved in the crash, but officers report that besides the fatality there were no serious injuries. The Mercedes driver may have had minor injuries and was being checked at a hospital.

The driver of the black Mercedes jumped out of his car after the crash and ran from the scene, according to Wes Lovett of the Prairie Village Police Department. Officers report that he left his flip-flops in the car, running away barefoot. Two plain clothes police officers encountered the man in the backyard of a home nearby on Fontana Street, where he was climbing a fence. After an altercation with the officers, the man was arrested. He was about four blocks southeast of the accident scene when he was caught.  One witness doing landscape work saw him running down the street after the crash. The suspect is described as a black male, possibly in his 30s.  The car he was driving was registered in Shawnee and Shawnee police were checking on the ownership.

The airbag in the Mercedes had deployed and the front end and windshield were extensively damaged. The silver car was crumpled and came to rest in the middle of the intersection facing west.

The intersection of 75th Street and Roe Avenue is likely to be closed for several hours and investigators map out the scene and collect evidence. Officers from five jurisdictions were helping at the scene.