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Kansas driver ran away after crash that killed 3, injured 2

Traffic accidents are over in seconds but the damage, heartache and suffering caused by them may last a lifetime. A vital, healthy person can be rendered dependent upon round-the-clock care. A Pittsburg family's source of emotional comfort and financial support may disappear when a loved one is incapacitated by an accident.

A recent car crash in Wichita claimed the lives of three young adults. A 21-year-old McPherson woman and two Valley Center men, both age 26, died at the scene. All of the fatally injured victims were passengers sitting in the back seat of a Chevrolet Impala.

Investigators said a male driver in a Ford Expedition ran a red light and broadsided the Impala. The Ford hit the driver's side, ejecting two of the Impala's rear seat passengers and injuring the 23-year-old female driver and a teen in the front seat. The Ford driver took off on foot.

The 31-year-old man apparently hitchhiked home, where Wichita police arrested him about 90 minutes after the fatal accident. Authorities said the violent collision occurred, just after the hit-and-run driver sped away from a bar around 2 a.m. A detective said the Ford driver never "touched his brakes."

The man was booked into jail on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated battery, fleeing an accident scene involving great bodily injury, reckless driving and disobeying a traffic signal. Drunk driving is suspected although the defendant's current charges don't reflect it directly.

Relatives of the two young men killed in the accident said they were planning to bury the friends together. One of the men was a bone cancer survivor. The other man's family set up a fund to help pay for the victim's funeral.

Many families are unprepared for a young accident victim's funeral and burial costs. Those expenses, medical bills and personal suffering are losses that can be compensated through wrongful death claims against reckless drivers.

Source: The Wichita Eagle, "Police identify three killed in crash near Towne West" Stan Finger, Jul. 29, 2014

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