WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A woman who pleaded guilty in a deadly downtown Wichita crash will spend more than 28 years in prison. On Thursday morning, Judge Tyler Roush sentenced Mia Collins to 25 years plus 38 months. It means she will not be eligible for parole for 28 years and two months.
Collins, 27, was fleeing police in a stolen car in May 2019. She crashed into two vehicles at Douglas and Broadway, killing 70-year-old Maria Wood and Wood’s 12-year-old granddaughter Rosemary McElroy. The crash also injured Wood’s daughter and musician Jenny Wood and a 65-year-old man.
In October 2021, Collins pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated battery, and fleeing and eluding law enforcement.
Jenny Wood sued the City of Wichita over the deaths of her family members. The lawsuit claimed a Wichita police officer lacked training and started a high-speed chase through downtown Wichita on a Sunday afternoon.
The two sides agreed to a settlement, and a judge approved the settlement in October.
A court document said the case fell under the Kansas Tort Claims Act, which caps liability for compensatory damages at $500,000 per occurrence or the amount of the governmental entity’s liability insurance coverage, whichever is greater.
The court allocated the $500,000 as follows:
- Jenny Wood – 80% ($400,000)
- Estate of Rosemary McElroy – 10% ($50,000)
- Estate of Maria Wood – 10% ($50,000)