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No links in five deadly crashes in five days

Five fatal crashes in less than a week in and around Wichita have prompted local authorities to take a closer look for any trends linking them.

But Sedgwick County sheriff's Capt. George Mason said investigators found no common threads among the five deadly crashes in five days.

"Every one we've looked at is something different," Mason said. "There's nothing that we can find that corresponds with each accident. It's not just the weather, not just speed, not just inexperienced drivers."

Shannon Bowmaker, 17, a junior at Campus High School, was pronounced dead shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday at Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Francis Campus.

She was riding in the back seat behind another 17-year-old Campus student in a red Grand Am when it pulled in front of a pickup at Ridge Road and 47th South just before 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, Mason said.

The pickup, driven by 51-year-old Gary Grassmeyer of Goddard, was driving south on Ridge Road when it struck the eastbound car on the back door of the driver's side, he said. Two 17-year-old boys, former Campus students, were also in the Grand Am at the time of the crash.

"They were unable to tell us anything about the accident," Mason said. "They were involved in texting and using their phones. They don't know if she ran the stop sign or pulled out in front of the pickup."

None of the other three people in the Grand Am required hospitalization, Mason said. Grassmeyer was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated and released.

Liz Hames, a spokeswoman for the Haysville-Campus school district, said the district's crisis team has been meeting with students at the high school.

The cause of the crash has not been determined, according to Mason.

"Everything's still being investigated to see what the cause might be," he said.

Authorities suspect a medical condition caused a crash shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday at 71st South and 135th West.

Robert Berry, 80, was pronounced dead upon arrival at St. Francis.

At about 1:25 p.m. Tuesday, a 30-year-old Wichita man lost control of his car on 167th Street West just north of Maple. He rolled his car at least once and struck three trees, uprooting one of them.

Raymond Quiroz died at the scene, next to what Mason called "a bad intersection."

"At this point, it appears to be speed-related," Mason said of the crash.

A 2-year-old girl died Tuesday from injuries she suffered when her mother crashed into a concrete railing south of Wichita late Monday night.

Authorities said the accident occurred at 11:52 p.m. Monday when the 33-year-old woman was driving on 63rd Street South and slid into the railing leading up to a bridge at Meridian.

The woman remains in serious condition at St. Francis, officials said. Her 3-year-old daughter has been released from the hospital.

That crash remains under investigation, authorities have said.

Investigators aren't sure what caused a crash Saturday morning that killed a Valley Center man, authorities said.

Ricky Powell, 44, was driving north on I-235 at about 7 a.m. Saturday when he drove into the median as he approached the K-42 overpass, struck a guardrail, spun and went over the bridge.

He was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from his Ford Taurus as it fell off the bridge and landed in a ditch next to K-42.

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