WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — It has been nearly three weeks since 66-year-old Steve Hickle was killed in a hit-and-run outside Arrowhead Stadium. It happened on Oct. 10 as the Chiefs hosted the Buffalo Bills.
Steve’s wife, Laurie, still doesn’t know the people responsible for hitting her husband, running him over, and driving away. Now, she is calling for more than justice in her late husband’s case.
“They don’t understand. I have lost the love of my life,” said Laurie Hickle, getting emotional and sitting down with KSN News for the first time during an on-camera interview.
The Kansas City Missouri Police Department (KCMOPD) said Steve got hit by a car, then run over by another vehicle after walking from Arrowhead Stadium. It was a game that had a weather delay that lasted for more than one hour.
“They weren’t playing very good, and my husband said let’s just get out of here before the storm really comes in, and it’s a mess, and people were trying to get out when the weather is really bad. We just didn’t want to have that problem,” said Laurie Hickle.
She said it was one of the last things she remembered her husband saying to her. Then, they decided to leave at halftime, which she said is something they’ve never done in the eight years they’ve been Chiefs season ticket holders.
The KCMOPD report says her husband was walking west to east, near Blue Ridge Cutoff and 43rd Street, when a car in the southbound lanes hit him. Then as he was lying in the street, a second car, also in the southbound lanes, ran over him. Both drivers never stopped.
“My husband stood there, saw the guy coming, held his hand up and stood there for like three seconds thinking that the guy might stop, and that guy kept going as fast as he could,” said Hickle. “The first truck hit him so hard, with such force, that it flew him through the air like a ragdoll.”
Speaking with KSN, Laurie said there were not two but three cars involved in the hit-and-run. She said one car hit her husband and kept going, and then she witnessed two more cars run over her husband and drive away. Days after the crash, authorities said they had little evidence about who was behind the wheel. However, police said officers recovered a side mirror and pieces of the corner directional signal. They are pieces of a car that officers believe is the first to hit her husband. The day after the crash, here is what police told our sister station in Kansas City.
“We are willing to hear the driver’s account of what happened, but absent that, we are left to no other conclusion that they struck a man, they left him in the road to die,” said Sgt. Bill Mahoney, KCMOPD Accident Investigations Unit supervisor.
KSN asked Laurie, “have you had any close calls like that before?”
“You always do,” she said. “You always do because people, there’s no crosswalk, there’s nothing there. Normally when the police is there, it’s fine, but if there’s no police, it’s crazy. It’s like Frogger.”
KSN News reached out to the Chiefs regarding the team’s policy on traffic control, asking when officers are assigned outside of Arrowhead directing fans out of the stadium. A representative from the team emailed back saying they’re referring all comments to KCMOPD. KSN then contacted the police about how many vehicle-pedestrian crashes have been reported at the intersection of Blue Ridge Cutoff and 43rd Street in the last five years. KSN is still waiting for this information.
In a statement, KCMOPD said they are “saddened by another tragic loss of life on City streets—this is exactly why Vision Zero in KCMO is so important. Our commitment to Vision Zero is a pledge to not tolerate any vehicular or pedestrian-related deaths on our streets. We are making progress in these efforts, but there is still much more to do— we take this work seriously and continue to prioritize making our streets safer for all users. This location is already being evaluated by the Vision Zero team and we have already begun work with Jackson County to improve pedestrian safety through enhanced lighting, narrowing travel lanes, curb extensions, and potentially speed humps and traffic signals at crossings.”
Laurie said she will continue to push for change on how the Chiefs and KCMOPD direct traffic in and out of the stadium, and she’s also pushing for infrastructure changes to the intersection, like a stoplight and crosswalk. KSN reached out to Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas’s office and two council members who represent the area multiple times for comment but never heard from them. Laurie said she’s not only waiting for justice but feels changes to public safety will help honor her husband outside of the very stadium for the team he loved.
“All it takes is one time, that’s all that it takes is one time, one death to happen, so why don’t they have that,” said Hickle.
KSN is also waiting for KCPD to release any potential surveillance photos of videos of the crash. When we asked police about the discrepancy regarding if there were two or three cars involved in the crash, police said, “any further information including witness statements is part of the investigation.”