WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita Police Department addressed a fatal pursuit that killed a Wichita woman and girl. The crash happened Sunday at Douglas and Broadway in downtown at 1:54 p.m.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 2001 BMW with two people inside was fleeing from Wichita police on Broadway heading southbound.
At the intersection, the BMW struck a 1998 Toyota with three people inside on the drivers side. The Toyota spun out and struck another Chevy with one person.
The woman and girl who died in the crash are identified as 70-year-old Maria Wood and 12-year-old Rosemary McElroy. Both are from Wichita and were in the Toyota. Another woman, 36-year-old Jennifer Wood, was injured and transported to the hospital.
The two people in the BMW, 24-year-old Mia Collins and 38-year-old Christopher English, were transported to the hospital.
A driver of the Chevy, 65-year-old Alfred Angel, was also taken to the hospital.
Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said the pursuit began when a police vehicle equipped with a license plate reader discovered a stolen BMW.
The WPD officer turned around and drove south on Broadway, confirmed the identified stolen vehicle and advised other officers. The woman continued driving southbound on Broadway, before turning east on 9th Street and then south into an alley. The woman then began to park on the south side of the Interdale Apartments, 916 N Broadway.
The WPD officer activated his overhead emergency lights and attempted to stop the vehicle. The suspect then fled west out of the private drive and turned south on Broadway at a high rate of speed. The officer waited for southbound traffic to clear, turned south, activated his siren and attempted to catch up to the suspect, which was then passing Murdock.
The officer continued southbound with his emergency equipment activated. Approximately 2 ½ blocks away from Douglas, the officer observed the BMW involved in a three-vehicle wreck.
Wichita police said the two people in the stolen BMW had a criminal history.
Police Chief Ramsay said the video of the pursuit will be released if there are charges against the two in the stolen BMW.
“I really look forward to showing that video because it shows a clear picture of what occurred,” said Chief Ramsay. “I recognize the concern on the community on these. It is one of our nightmares that something like this occurs. We want to do everything to prevent them. We are here to apprehend crooks. In this short of a time frame, preliminarily it doesn’t appear any policies were violated.”
The Kansas Highway Patrol assisted in the investigation of the crash scene to provide transparency and avoid conflicts of interest.
The investigation is ongoing and will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office. After the completion of criminal proceedings there will be an internal review.
Chief Ramsay said the WPD sends its thoughts and prayers to everyone affected in this tragic incident.
“I’m a dad and have a daughter. It hits all of us hard,” he said.
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