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Wichita police aiming to crack down on street racing after child injured, teen killed

Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 4:14 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita police are trying to crack down on street racing in the city after two recent incidents that resulted in the death of an 18-year-old man who crashed his car and the serious injury of a 9-year-old boy crossing the street.

Just off of Greenwich Road near Central in east Wichita, a small memorial sits on the side of the road for a teen who died from his injuries in a crash police said happened while street racing. Police said the 18-year-old died after his car hit a curb, a tree and a pole. They said while he was street racing, the lane in which he was driving came to an end.

“The street could end, there could be a pothole. Anything as simple as a pothole when you are doing upward of 100 miles per hour could cause you to lose control of your vehicle,” Wichita Police Department Sgt. Keith Fort said.

Sgt. Fort said said officers recently have been writing more citations for speeding and racing on Greenwich and other areas.

“Kellogg, one o four officers (Friday) wrote a citation for someone going 102 miles per hour, so it’s not uncommon for people to race on Kellogg,” Sgt. Fort said.

More recently on Wednesday, March 31, the 9-year-old boy was hit while crossing the street along Meridian. Witnesses on the scene near Pawnee and Meridian reported seeing two trucks racing southbound on Meridian and one of the trucks striking the child and leaving the scene. Two teens were arrested.

Through a follow-up investigation, officers were able to locate both trucks and their drivers. One driver, a 16-year-old male, was booked into the Sedgwick County Juvenile Detention Facility (JDF) on charges of reckless driving and no driver’s license. The other driver, a 17-year-old male, was booked into JDF on charges of aggravated battery, reckless driving, hit and run and violation of driver’s license restrictions.

Jennifer is a woman who lives near where the collision happened and is concerned about the racing that happens nearby.

“I really have to watch out when I pull off my street onto Pawnee,” she said.

She said the racing is a daily occurrence where she lives and she wants it to stop. If it doesn’t, she worries more people will die.

‘Something has to be done about this,” she said.

Wichita police advise calling 911 if you see street racing, even if it doesn’t lead to an accident.

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