Car crashes into front porch, catches fire following police chase

05/10/2013 7:46 AM

05/10/2013 8:25 AM

Four people were injured when a car crashed into the front porch of a house in west Wichita while the driver was trying to elude police early Friday morning, authorities said.

The car crashed into a house at 1925 W. Maple at 12:48 a.m., about five minutes after an officer attempted to pull the gray Pontiac sedan over in the 2500 block of South West Street, a Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor said.

The 18-year-old driver had committed a traffic offense, prompting the attempted stop, Lt. Steve Kenney said. Other officers put down stop strips in an attempt to flatten tires during the pursuit, he said.

As the car was heading east on Maple, the driver lost control just east of Friends University, jumped a curb and crashed through a wooden fence shielding a front yard. The car then slammed into the front porch of the house and caught fire.

The 18-year-old driver was among the four people taken to Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis, Kenney said. There were five people in the car; one of whom was arrested.

The passengers taken to the hospital included a 17-year-old girl and men ages 27 and 24, Kenney said. The fifth person in the car was not injured.

The driver and the two men are in serious condition at the hospital, a Via Christi spokeswoman said. The 17-year-old female passenger is in fair condition.

It’s not clear at this point why the driver decided to try to elude the police, Kenney said.

Yellow crime scene tape still draped the remnants of the wooden fence west of the house and the open front of the lawn next to the porch. The force of the impact sent wooden fragments into the neighbor’s yard to the east and obliterated a concrete pillar on a front corner of the porch.

No one was home at the time of the crash, police said, and the house remained dark at mid-morning Friday as well.

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