Police seek gray Chevy in street-racing death

Wichita police said Monday they are looking for a Chevrolet — perhaps a Monte Carlo — painted with gray primer in connection with a street race that killed one pedestrian and critically injured another Saturday night.

One of the two men racing in the 1100 block of North Cleveland shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday returned to the scene after the collision, Lt. Kevin Vaughn said.

"By looking at the vehicle, it was obvious he had struck something," Vaughn said.

The 52-year-old man was interviewed, then arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and aggravated battery. His maroon 1992 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme has been impounded.

The two pedestrians were taking an evening walk when they were struck as they crossed the street, Vaughn said.

Robert Ryder, 25, of Wichita, died at the scene. His 39-year-old cousin, whose name has not been released, is in critical condition at Via Christi Hospital on North St. Francis.

"We have witnesses that heard the cars racing, but we have no one that's come forward and said they actually saw it," Vaughn said.

Residents of the neighborhood told police they had heard two cars driving south at high speeds on Cleveland, Vaughn said, and the two drivers apparently turned around and were racing back north at the time of the collision.

Investigators don't know whether the pedestrians were hit by one or two vehicles.

Anyone with information about the incident should call the accident follow-up unit at 316-268-4167 or Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.

Anonymous tips can also be sent to Crime Stoppers by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the tip with TIP217, or through the Internet at www.wichitasedgwickcounty crimestoppers.com.

With the weather warming up and more people going outside later at night, Vaughn said, the risk of similar incidents occurring increases.

Street racing, he said, is "obviously very dangerous."