Crime & Courts

After police chase, suspected DUI driver crashes head-on into turning van, KHP says

A suspected DUI driver accused of a violent theft at a Wichita store crashed a car after leading a state trooper on a police chase.

Sedgwick County dispatchers Tuesday afternoon sent emergency crews to a northeast Wichita Home Depot store at K-96 and Woodlawn, the Kansas Highway Patrol said in a crash report. A suspect in an attempted theft and battery case was leaving the store, and a trooper became involved in a police chase with a car.

The crash report indicates that the trooper discontinued the pursuit before police in Park City reported the suspect crashed the car. The 2005 Ford Mustang ran a red light at 61st Street North and Hydraulic, crashing head-on into a 2005 Chevy Cube that was turning left on a green arrow light at around 12:44 p.m.

The driver of the Mustang was identified in the crash report as Nicholas Jay Shepherd, 31, of Rose Hill. He was taken to a local hospital for a complaint of pain.

The 45-year-old male driver and 21-year-old female passenger in the Chevrolet complained of pain, but were not taken to hospital, according to the crash report.

Shepherd was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail at around 4:35 p.m. Tuesday, sheriff’s office records show.

He is being held on suspicion of 14 crimes: theft, battery, flee and elude, running a stop sign, laned roadway violation, failure to signal, improper turn, passing on the right, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, battery, possessing drug paraphernalia, non-injury hit-and-run, failure to wear a seat belt and disobeying a traffic control device.

Kansas prison records show that Shepherd had gotten off parole earlier this month.

Shepherd was previously convicted of six counts of theft in 2013 in Sedgwick County, Kansas Department of Corrections records show. He went to prison and was discharged in February 2016.

He was then convicted of another count of theft that occurred the same month he was discharged from the prison system. Shepherd served more time in prison and was discharged from parole on May 5.