Two Wichita police cars were heading to a nightclub where shots had reportedly been fired when one of them collided with a car Sunday night, killing the driver, authorities said today.
The victim has been identified as Christopher Perkins, 30, of Wichita.
Deputy Chief Tom Stolz said officers received a report of a disturbance at the Lamplighter Club in the 2300 block of East MacArthur at 8:57 p.m. Two officers in separate patrol cars were heading south on Hydraulic as Perkins was coming north.
After one of the patrol cars passed him, Perkins turned left at El Monte in front of the second car and was struck. He was taken to Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Francis Campus, where he was pronounced dead.
The 25-year-old officer who was driving the second patrol car, whom the Kansas Highway Patrol identified as Garrett Shaddix of Wichita, was taken to Wesley Medical Center, where he was treated and released. He has been on the force for about two years, Stolz said.
Investigators for the Highway Patrol have been asked to handle the investigation into the crash, Stolz said. An outside law enforcement agency is brought in any time there is a serious or fatal crash involving a police vehicle, he said.
The department's accident follow up and critical accident teams will be assisting the highway patrol, Stolz said.
"We'll look at two things," Stolz said. "We'll look at the left-hand turn and we'll look at the speeds of both vehicles."
Patrol cars have what Stolz called "black boxes" that can show what speed and how maneuverable the vehicle was at the time of a collision, he said.
Given the nature of the call, Stolz said, "the officers would be pushing it" in regard to the speed limit.
But officers are also directed "to drive reasonably and safely," Stolz said.
The speed limit for southbound traffic on that stretch of Hydraulic is 40 miles an hour, according to a sign posted in the 3000 block of South Hydraulic.
The officers did not have lights and sirens activated as they were going to the call, Stolz said.
"We have a pretty restrictive policy" on when lights and sirens can be activated, he said. "This was not that type of call."
The Highway Patrol's report states that Perkins was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash. Stolz said he had heard that Perkins was on his way to pick up friends at the McDonald's near the crash scene.
Check Kansas.com for updates.