A police pursuit preceded a collision that killed three people early Friday morning on South Broadway, police officials said.
Two men and one woman died in the crash just after 3:45 a.m. near 53rd Street South, Capt. Jeff Weible said.
The victims were identified Friday afternoon as John Good, 69, and Deborah Good, 62, both of Haysville, and Orlando Lucero, a 31-year-old from Wichita.
Lucero was in a Ford F-150, while the Haysville couple were traveling in a Cadillac sedan.
“This is a tragic accident and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families,” said Weible, who offered this account:
A police officer noticed a dark Ford F-150 driving erratically and without its headlights on at 3:37 a.m. at Roosevelt and Ross Parkway in the Planeview neighborhood. She attempted to pull the pickup over, but the driver did not comply.
A chase began, but it was called off “less than a minute” later at Mount Vernon and George Washington Boulevard, Weible said, due to concerns about the danger the suspect would pose to others given how he was driving.
Nine minutes later, several miles from where the pursuit was terminated, 911 received a report of a collision at Broadway and 53rd Street South.
The southbound Ford pickup had crossed the center line and slammed into a Cadillac driving in the curb lane of northbound traffic, Weible said. The pickup was traveling “extraordinarily fast” and struck the Cadillac “nearly head-on,” he said.
The Haysville couple in the Cadillac were pronounced dead at the scene. Lucero, the driver of the pickup, was taken to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis, where he died at 5:36 a.m.
There is no indication Lucero realized he was no longer being pursued by police, Weible said. Investigators will need to use calculations from their reconstruction of the crash scene to estimate the pickup’s speed, he said. Police also are looking into whether the pickup was stolen.
The officer followed proper chase protocol in her handling of the incident, Weible said.
The truck rolled after the collision and remained on its side on Broadway several hours after the collision. The Cadillac careened off the street and came to rest facing south near a utility pole.
Debris littered Broadway near 53rd Street. Yellow police tape and orange traffic cones blocked the scene from traffic and on-lookers. Broadway from 48th Street South to 55th Street South was closed until early Friday afternoon.
“It’s a very large scene with a large amount of debris,” Weible said.
Contributing: Matt Riedl of The Eagle