Relatives of a man who died after his Mustang veered into oncoming traffic on Maize Road, critically injuring a 9-year-old girl riding in an SUV, are praying for the girl and her family, said a woman at the man’s home Tuesday.
As the woman talked, her voice caught. She answered the door at the Maize house where 39-year-old James C. Adams had lived with his family.
Authorities have identified Adams as the man who was driving the Mustang when it crashed shortly after noon on Sunday on Maize Road just south of 13th Street. He died in the accident.
Wichita police said that Adams appeared to have been speeding and that they are investigating social media claims that he and another driver might have been racing. Adams had a valid driver’s license, state records show.
The girl, Natalie Wessley, who was wearing a seat belt in the backseat of a Range Rover, remained in critical but stable condition on Tuesday, police Lt. James Espinoza said. The collision also injured the girl’s mother and her older sister.
Adams worked for FlightSafety International and is survived by a wife and three children, said the woman at the door. She wouldn’t give her name.
“His family meant the world to him,” the woman said.
Adams was certified as an airline transport pilot in October 2007, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.
The white Mustang that he was driving in the crash was partly a present for his wife, the woman said. The car was “like a hobby,” she said.
At the crash scene Tuesday afternoon, two bouquets of carnations lay on charred grass beside the pavement where the Mustang and two other vehicles caught fire Sunday after the collision.
Police have said that Adams was driving a white Mustang south on Maize Road and that the car struck the west curb, a little south of 13th Street, and swerved across three lanes into oncoming traffic. The Mustang hit the northbound Range Rover head-on. The Mustang then hit a second vehicle in the northbound lanes.
Contributing: Jerry Siebenmark, Stan Finger and Amy Renee Leiker of The Eagle
Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.