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Kansas City manslaughter charges filed 3 months after crash

A man killed in a motorcycle accident last spring was a 57-year-old widower. He lost his wife and daughter in a 2011 traffic accident police said was caused by a drunk driver. Authorities said the man who took the Belton motorcyclist's life was also driving while intoxicated.

Charges of involuntary manslaughter, drunk driving and leaving an accident scene were filed recently against a 24-year-old suspect. Police believe the Kansas City resident was the driver of a Ford pickup that ran a stoplight and struck the Harley Davidson in the middle of the night.

Investigators arrived on the scene to find a fatally injured rider at an intersection. No one was in a damaged truck found about 500 feet away. Police later determined the crash occurred when the truck ran a stoplight.

A license plate check led police to the suspect.

Witnesses told police the accused man was drinking at a bar several hours before the crash. Observers said the man appeared drunk. Authorities also learned the suspect was engaged in a cellphone conversation with a friend at the time of the collision.

Although the friend wouldn't talk with police, the friend's parent reported the suspect showed up at woman's apartment the morning after the accident. The woman apparently drove the man home. The next day the man surrendered to police with an attorney by his side.

Authorities noticed several scratches on the suspect's body. Police spoke with neighbors who said they heard sounds in the woods the night of the accident not far from the abandoned truck.

The administrator of the motorcyclist's estate could initiate a survival action to recover damages for the victim's pain and suffering. A wrongful death claim may be filed by the victim's heirs. Plaintiffs in the legal action would be the widower's surviving children or, if there are none, the motorcyclist's parents or siblings.

Source:, "KC man charged in April hit-and-run crash that killed motorcyclist" Brian Burnes, Jul. 15, 2013

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