The motorist who struck a Purple Heart recipient checking the mail at his parents’ home last May pleaded guilty Monday to one count of leaving the scene of an accident, according to the Sedgwick County prosecutor’s office and court records.
Authorities say Dreu Wikle was driving a landscaping company pickup truck on 87th Street near Haysville on May 12 when he hit 31-year-old Grant Burris from behind and then drove away. Burris, a Marine who served four tours in Iraq, was walking west on the north side of 87th and was near his parents’ driveway.
He suffered a collapsed lung, broken pelvis and head lacerations and died at the hospital 11 days later.
Wikle told authorities he thought he had hit a mailbox but didn’t stop to check, court records show.
Burris received a Purple Heart after being injured by shrapnel from a grenade that killed his best friend, according to The Eagle’s news archives.
Wikle, 26, is set for sentencing on April 12 before Sedgwick County District Court Judge Ben Burgess. In Kansas, the presumptive prison sentence for such a conviction is 17 to 46 months; a person with little to no criminal history also could be placed on probation.