Chief Gordon Ramsay describes police chase that ended with fatal accident
A 91-year-old man died Monday in an accident that involved a police chase with a stolen car, according to Wichita police.
Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said Alex Davis, 18, was driving a 2007 Volkswagen Jetta when an officer saw him run a stop sign at Payne and 23rd Street.
The officer made a three-point turn before chasing Davis east on 23rd, then south on Burns, and east again on 21st, Ramsay said. The Jetta then struck another car, a Ford, at 21st and Arkansas.
A Kansas Highway Patrol accident report said James Dexter, 91, was driving a 2008 Ford Fusion southbound on Arkansas at the time of the crash just after noon Monday.
The report said Dexter was taken to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis where he later died.
Ramsay said the entire chase and accident occurred within a 14-second timeframe.
“These times are important,” he said as he chronicled the incident at a news conference Tuesday.
Ramsay said he did not yet know exactly how fast the car was traveling. But he said, “speed was definitely a factor” in the crash, noting that it took the officer nine additional seconds to arrive at the accident.
Ramsay also said Davis had stolen the Volkswagen earlier in the day Monday.
Ramsay said Davis got out of the car and threw a handgun as he attempted to run from the scene, but the officer who chased him and a nearby animal control officer caught him.
Ramsay said Davis was a violent offender and had been arrested as recently as Sept. 21. Sgt. Nikki Woodrow said he was arrested on suspicion of two burglary and three theft counts, but was released pending those charges.
Woodrow said he was booked into jail Monday on suspicion of murder, burglary, larceny, numerous traffic charges, felony flee and elude police, police Sgt. Nikki Woodrow said.
Ramsay said he spoke with Dexter’s family, who he said were heartbroken.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” he said.