Wichita police have released new details on a crash that killed four people and left one critically hurt over the weekend. Police say the actions of one of the passengers who died likely saved someone's life.
Police believe the driver, 39-year-old Andrew Montgomery, suffered a major medical condition while driving. Police do not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash, but toxicology tests will be done.
Police tell us the Ford Escape was going 70-80 miles per hour on Kellogg Frontage Road. The vehicle served suddenly to the left, struck a median, went airborne and hit a wall. The vehicle then caught fire.
One passenger, a 34-year-old Janell Henderson was thrown from the vehicle on impact. Police moved her away from the burning vehicle. She was rushed to the hospital where she remains in critical condition.
Police say the driver and front seat passenger were wearing seat belts, but the impact of the crash was not survivable. Police believe all four died on impact before the vehicle caught fire.
Those who were killed have been identified as 26-year-old Jessica Metzger, who was in the front seat, 23-year-old Sara Smith and 27-year-old Victoria Dougherty, who were in the back seat and the driver.
Police believe Metzger, who is in the US Air Force, and Henderson tried to take control of the vehicle. This is when police believe the vehicle veered to the left and crashed.
Police say the women's actions saved the life of a driver who was in another car stopped at a red light at Oliver at the time of the crash.
Police have not had a chance to speak with Henderson because of her condition.
Sara Smith lost her father three days prior to the accident. The family was planning funeral arrangements for their father when Sara passed away Saturday night.
The family tells us that neither Sara nor her father had life insurance. You can donate to the family here.
The driver worked for a service the women hired to drive them so they could safely celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
You call for a ride from home, ahead of time, tell the driver when to pick you up and you pay a flat fee for the service. Factfinder 12 wanted to know what kind of service this is, officially, and who regulates them. What we found was some confusion.
In short, the city doesn't regulate businesses that provide group transportation like this. Here's why.
The first thought is that they would fall under the taxi codes. But, taxis charge based on time and mileage using a taximeter. These vehicles usually charge a flat rate up front and don't have taximeters. So, they're not legally taxis.
They're not considered a limousine either. The vehicles these companies use are not specially constructed luxury vehicles run by licensed charter limousine services. Nor are they luxury sedans 5 years of less.
Many people first thought of party buses when we described this service to them. But party buses, by definition, can carry 16 or more passengers are are regulated by the Kansas and U.S. Departments of Transportation. These vehicles are normal cars, seating 5 or fewer people.
So, right now, the city is not regulating group transportation services. But that might change.
"Certainly any time that we have some type of a loss, a person loses their life or something of that nature, we're certainly concerned about it," said Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer. He says the city council is looking into whether regulations are needed for businesses such as these.
Update: Family and friends have identified some of the victims killed in the fiery crash Saturday night on Oliver.
Sara Smith, Jessica Metzger and Victoria Daugherty died at the scene. A police officer pulled Janell Henderson from the SUV. She remains in critical condition.
Friends say the group of women were out celebrating St. Patrick's day and hired Triple B's Express to drive them. That man has not been identified.
Wichita Police are expected to give new details about the crash during a briefing Monday morning.
Smith's family tells KWCH the family is suffering a double tragedy this week. Sara's father died on Thursday. Neither had life insurance.
Wichita Police have not released any new details about a quadruple fatal in east Wichita.
Crews were called to the scene on Oliver over Kellogg around 7:40 p.m. Saturday. They arrived to find a burning car on its nose, up against a concrete barrier.
One woman was pulled from the burning car, and transferred to the hospital in extremely critical condition. An update on her condition has not been released.
Officers closed Oliver for several hours while crews cleared the scene.
Police on scene said it appears the SUV was moving at a high rate of speed seconds before the accident. The crash remains under investigation.
Details are expected to be released during a media briefing Monday morning.
At least two people are dead after a rollover in central Wichita.
Two others were injured in the wreck at Kellogg and Oliver that happened just after 7:30 this evening.
When police arrived they found the car tipped over and on fire.
They rescued one woman and transported her to Wesley Medical Center.
Crews were still working to get 3 other people out of the car.
Police confirm 2 of the people are dead but they are not sure about the other person.
Officers say the car crashed into the Oliver Street bridge after driving at an extremely high rate.
"Nobody saw it attempting to slow down and it just jumped the curb went across lanes of traffic, struck no other vehicles and hit what is a fairly stout cement wall. It is where that the vehicle came to its final resting place," said Sgt. Bart Brunscheen, Wichita Police Department.
Police are still investigating the crash. They have not released the names of the victims.