Wichita police gave new details Monday about a traffic incident that occurred Friday, saying a minivan apparently went over a curb and struck and killed a lawn service worker on impact.
The force threw the man onto the roof of the van. Despite a smashed windshield, the vehicle continued for 3 miles with the body still atop the van, police said. The van, a Toyota Sienna, stopped at the driver's home in far east Wichita.
Police Lt. Joe Schroeder said he couldn't say why the motorist continued driving after striking the worker.
"I still cannot comment on what his frame of mind was," Schroeder said of the driver.
Schroeder also disclosed that the victim was a 32-year-old Mexican citizen. Police still were not sure of the victim's name and were working with federal authorities to identify the man.
The driver — a 67-year-old doctor identified in jail records as M.S. Sarrafizadeh — has a driver's license, Schroeder said. He has also been identified as Mohammad Sarrafizadeh in other jail records. Whether he could lose his driver's license over the incident would be up to a court, Schroeder said.
Sarrafizadeh has been cooperative and gave a blood sample that will be tested, Schroeder said. It doesn't appear to investigators that alcohol or drugs were involved.
It could be a month or more before a determination is made on whether charges could be filed against the driver, Schroeder said.
According to Schroeder and jail records, Sarrafizadeh was arrested Friday and booked into jail on suspicion of failing to stop at a fatal accident. He was released on bond.
Investigators are still trying to pinpoint a cause of the accident, which occurred at about 7:15 a.m. Friday.
Evidence at the scene of the accident, near the Hawker Beechcraft plant entrance on Greenwich near Douglas, indicates that the van most likely went over the curb and struck the worker while he was trimming grass near the street, Schroeder said.
The van was going south on Greenwich; the worker was in a grassy area along the west side of the street.
At the time, Sarrafizadeh was apparently taking his 22-year-old daughter to school, then heading to work, Schroeder said.
An autopsy indicates that the worker's injuries were so massive and extensive that he would have died on impact, Schroeder said.
Police found the vehicle, with a smashed windshield and noticeable hood and front-end damage, in a driveway in the 1500 block of Krug, near 13th and 127th East.
So far this year, Wichita has had 16 traffic deaths, four involving motorcycles and eight involving alcohol.