Police identified Matthew K. Tanges and Angela M. Watson, both 26, as the victims in a fatal, late-night motorcycle crash on Seneca near Kellogg, Wichita police Lt. Todd Ojile said Monday.
Ojile gave this account:
At approximately 11:38 p.m. on Sunday, 911 dispatchers sent an alert for an apparent burglary in process in the 1100 block of South Elizabeth. A Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputy was nearby and responded, parking in the 1000 block of Elizabeth until backup arrived.
The motorcycle left the house and, once the deputy was in sight, “took off at a high rate of speed,” Ojile said.
The deputy turned around and started following the motorcycle, but not actively pursuing it with lights and sirens on, Lt. Dan East said.
The motorcycle ran a stop sign at McCormick and Elizabeth and took off eastbound on McCormick, running a red light at Seneca and turning north.
“Within a matter of seconds,” the motorcycle crashed into the driver’s side of a vehicle that had just exited Kellogg and was turning left. Tanges and Watson were thrown off the motorcycle; the driver of the car, a 25-year-old man, was not injured.
Tanges and Watson were transported to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis with critical injuries, where they later died.
After investigating, police found that no burglary had taken place – the Elizabeth house was vacant, and family members of the two had signed a lease to rent the house earlier that weekend.
The motorcycle had been reported stolen about a week before the crash, Ojile said, which he thought may be why the pair sped off.
According to Department of Corrections records, Tanges was convicted of fleeing/attempting to elude law enforcement three times: in September 2006, December 2006 and May 2011. He also was convicted of theft three times between 2006 and 2007, according to records.