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Woman killed while stopped for a funeral procession identified

Woman killed while stopped for funeral procession

One person died and 2 others were hurt in a collision in west Wichita Saturday morning. Video by Stan Finger
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One person died and 2 others were hurt in a collision in west Wichita Saturday morning. Video by Stan Finger

She pulled over out of respect for a funeral procession Saturday morning. Now her loved ones will be planning her funeral.

A 59-year-old woman was killed Saturday morning when a van slammed into the back of her red SUV as it was stopped next to the curb on 119th Street West north of Kellogg, Sgt. Troy Nedbalek said. The woman’s mother and the driver of the van were both taken to the hospital in fair condition.

Wichita police identified the woman on Tuesday as Karen Capps. 

The collision was reported at 11:20 a.m. near the intersection with Beaumont, authorities said. The victim had stopped “appropriately” next to the curb in the northbound lanes of 119th West, Nedbalek said.

The funeral procession was coming south on 119th West, he said, presumably to Resthaven Cemetery, which is a couple of blocks south of where the collision occurred.

Capps was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators aren’t sure why the driver of the van, a 31-year-old man, didn’t see the vehicles stopped next to the curb as he traveled north.

The case will be sent to the District Attorney’s Office for review, Officer Charley Davidson said.

Numerous witnesses stopped to offer help in the aftermath of the crash, Nedbalek said.

“We’re very thankful for their assistance,” he said. “It was a horrific accident for them to witness, too.”

Michelle Stephens heard the collision inside her house at the corner of 119th and Lynndale and came outside to see what had happened. 

“We had wrecks here all the time, even before they widened it,” Stephens said, standing in her neighbor’s front yard as they watched investigators process the scene.

A man who lives in the area said Saturday was the second fatal crash on that block of 119th West in the 10 years he’s lived there.

“It is very dangerous,” Cynthia Gibson said as she stood next to Stephens, “and I don’t understand why.”

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