A 37-year-old man killed early Tuesday morning when his GMC Sierra flew off a bridge into the Big Ditch in west Wichita has been identified as Brian H. Badders of Valley Center, police said.
The truck was traveling west on Kellogg at about 2:20 a.m. when it struck the guard rail of the bridge over the Big Ditch and went airborne, said Lt. Joe Schroeder, who released Badders’ name Tuesday afternoon in an e-mailed response to questions.
The black Sierra traveled 189 feet in the air, landing in the ditch and continuing up the far embankment before coming to a rest, he said.
Witnesses indicated the vehicle was traveling at “an extremely high rate of speed” at the time of the crash, Schroeder said.
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Badders, who was partially ejected from the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. The force of the impact was so great the engine and transmission were thrown from the vehicle, Schroeder said.
“That would indicate extreme speed,” he said.
Toxicology tests are being conducted to determine whether the driver was impaired in any way, he said.
The location, near I-235, was shut down for several hours early Tuesday morning so debris from the crash could be cleaned up.
Anyone who saw the crash or the moments leading up to the crash is asked to call the accident follow-up unit at 316-268-4131, Schroeder said.
This is the 10th traffic fatality of the year in Wichita, Schroeder said.