A 24-year-old man was sentenced to nine years and one month in prison on April 5 for causing an August 2017 crash that claimed the life of his passenger. In February, a Sedgwick County jury found the man guilty of involuntary manslaughter while impaired by drugs, aggravated battery, driving with a suspended driver’s license and failing to yield at a stop sign. However, the man was not immediately transported to prison and is instead being held at the Sedgwick County Jail. This is because there is another criminal case pending against him.
The jury heard that the man’s car was traveling at unsafe speeds and ignored a stop sign before striking a pickup truck at the intersection of 55th Street South and Southeast Boulevard near Derby. The man’s 33-year-old male passenger was badly hurt in the crash and succumbed to his injuries nine days later. The man was charged after toxicology tests revealed traces of methamphetamine in his blood.
The man is also facing vehicle theft and eluding charges stemming from two incidents that occurred within the space of six days in December 2017. He is alleged to have led police on high-speed chases after stealing a Honda Civic sedan from a local resident and a Honda Ridgeline pickup truck from a local beer company.
Criminal defense attorneys with experience in drunk driving cases would likely advise their clients to avoid a trial by seeking a negotiated plea agreement when presented with facts like these. Drivers who cause serious injury or death while impaired can face severe penalties, but prosecutors may be willing to reduce them in return for a guilty plea and a speedy resolution.
Source: The Wichita Eagle, Man guilty in fatal crash accused of leading cops on chase in stolen beer company truck, Jason Tidd, April 6, 2019