WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Wichita man was in court on Wednesday to hear his sentence after he pleaded guilty in relation to a fiery crash near Valley Center that killed a man in March 2020.
Russeller Polk, 46, was sentenced to 122 months in prison, which equals out to 10 years and two months. He pleaded guilty on June 29, 2022, to one count of leaving the scene of an accident, and a misdemeanor count of vehicular homicide, according to Sedgwick County officials.
Court documents show on March 31, 2020, deputies were dispatched to a vehicle fire outside Wichita. When they arrived, the vehicle, which was later identified as a Dodge pickup truck, “was fully engulfed in flames.”
After extinguishing the fire, first responders found a body inside the vehicle.
An affidavit shows officers identified the VIN, and the owner said Polk was driving the vehicle. When officers talked to Polk, he told them he had been drinking when he wrecked the truck, and the vehicle caught fire.
Officers brought Polk in for an interview, and he told them he and a friend were going to go fishing but “ended up drinking and did not go fishing.” He told officers he wasn’t drinking at the time of the crash.
The affidavit says they went driving, and Polk “wanted to be stupid and go four wheeling in the field” when Polk flipped the truck over, and it immediately caught fire.
Polk said he attempted to pull his friend out, but he would not move. He said he saw the truck explode and ran to another friend’s house nearby.
Kansas Department of Corrections records show Polk has four separate DUI convictions.