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Driver in fatal March crash arrested

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, May 23, 2014, at 1 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, May 23, 2014, at 6:53 p.m.

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A 55-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with a crash that left his passenger dead last March in north Wichita, police and court records show.

Melvin L. Day, of Wichita, made his first appearance in Sedgwick County District Court on Friday afternoon on one count of second-degree, unintentional but reckless murder. He is charged in the March 5 death of Kevin E. Donn Sr., who was killed when the car he was riding in slammed into a tree near 21st and Waco.

Prosecutors have offered an alternate count of involuntary manslaughter in the case against Day. He also is charged with driving on a suspended or canceled license, a misdemeanor.

The fatal crash occurred at about 3:30 p.m. March 5 in the 2200 block of North Jackson, according to a police report.

Witnesses told police that day that a yellow Pontiac Sunfire was traveling at a high rate of speed on Jackson when the driver swerved to avoid crashing into a mail truck and lost control; the car slammed into a tree on the passenger’s side.

Donn, 54, was killed in the crash. The car’s driver – Day – was taken to a local hospital in critical condition.

Day was arrested and booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on Thursday on suspicion of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and driving without a license, records show. He remains in custody on $250,000 bond.

Day is due back in court June 5 for a preliminary hearing.

Kansas Department of Corrections records show Day has served time in prison on multiple Sedgwick County convictions since 1983, including driving while a habitual violator, robbery and aggravated battery. Day also was convicted of felony driving under the influence in October 2003, according to Sedgwick County District Court records.

He had at least two prior DUI convictions at the time, records show.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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