Woman pleads guilty in 2019 deadly crash in downtown Wichita; city settles lawsuit with Jenny Wood

Crime

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A woman charged in a deadly downtown crash pleaded guilty on Wednesday. Mia Collins, 26, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder as well as fleeing and eluding law enforcement.

Court officials said Collins’ hearing today was unscheduled. At the hearing, she pleaded guilty to those counts as wells as three counts of aggravated battery.

Collins was fleeing police in a stolen car in May 2019. She crashed into two vehicles, 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.

A judge will sentence Collins on Dec. 20, 2021.

Last year, Jenny Wood sued the City of Wichita for wrongful death and personal injury. 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 last week.

A court document says the case falls 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)

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