Authorities hope to interview lone survivor for key to crash that killed 4

03/24/2014 3:29 PM

03/24/2014 3:42 PM

Authorities aren’t likely to know what caused a crash that killed four people earlier this month unless they’re able to interview the lone survivor, a Wichita police official said Monday.

An autopsy of the designated driver who crashed while driving four women home from a scavenger hunt on March 15 showed he suffered “multiple traumas,” Lt. Joe Schroeder said.

Investigators think the driver, 39-year-old Andrew Montgomery, suffered a medical episode of some sort while he was driving west on Kellogg, then exited at Oliver. Witnesses reported Montgomery was driving west on Kellogg at between 70 and 80 mph prior to exiting at Oliver, police have said.

The Escape had its right turn signal on but showed no signs of slowing, a witness later told police. Just before it would have struck a car stopped at a red light, the Escape swerved hard to the left and hit a short median separating exit lanes from a U-turn lane at Oliver, police have said.

The median vaulted the Escape into the air before it slammed into a retaining wall shielding pedestrians from vehicles. The vehicle then caught on fire.

Montgomery was killed along with three passengers: Jessica Metzger, 26; Sara Smith, 23; and Victoria Daugherty, 27. A fourth passenger, a 34-year-old woman, was ejected from the vehicle. She remains in critical condition at Wesley Medical Center.

“If he suffered a seizure, that is electrical activity in the brain, which of course can’t be measured after death,” Schroeder said in an e-mail response to questions on Monday.

Investigators think Metzger, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, and the surviving passenger were attempting to gain control of the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Montgomery was hired through Triple B’s Express, police have said. He had a clean driving record, Schroeder has said, and there is no indication alcohol played any role in the crash.

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