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No charges against motorist in Newton teacher’s death

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, June 6, 2014, at 8:31 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, June 11, 2014, at 4:59 p.m.


Correction: The driver was rolling up a front window. A previous version of this story was incorrect.

Harvey County authorities have decided not to file charges against the motorist who hit and killed a Newton teacher thought to be jogging near Newton on Tuesday afternoon.

Harvey County Undersheriff Todd Hanchett called the collision that killed 28-year-old Crystal Stauffer “an unfortunate accident” in a news release e-mailed Friday.

The crash is being blamed on the driver – a 40-year-old Halstead woman – glancing away from the road to roll up a window “after having dust blown into her car by a passing vehicle,” Hanchett said in the news release.

“When the driver looked up, she had no time to respond and stop from hitting” Stauffer, Hanchett wrote.

He added: “No charges are being filed at this time.”

Authorities said earlier this week that Stauffer was struck about 4 p.m. Tuesday on Northwest 12th, between Meridian and West. The Halstead woman’s vehicle was westbound on the paved road, which is frequented by bikers and runners, at the time. Stauffer was taken by ambulance to Newton Medical Center, where she died.

Stauffer, a physical education teacher at Newton’s Santa Fe 5/6 Center, was “an energetic, vibrant young lady” who was well-liked by students, school principal George Leary said Wednesday. She was married last summer and finished her master’s degree in education this spring.

Her funeral is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday at Salem United Methodist Church, 115 Old Main St. in Newton. Visitation will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Petersen Family Funeral Home, 215 N. Main in Newton.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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