Crime & Courts

Wichita driver with multiple DUI convictions gets 14-year sentence in crash that killed passenger

A Wichita man with four previous DUI convictions has been sentenced to about 14 years in prison for a March car crash on North Jackson that killed his passenger, the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office said.

District Court Judge Ben Burgess sentenced Melvin Day, 56, to 172 months, the district attorney’s office said Friday in a news release.

Day pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence and driving while suspended. He was the driver of a car that smashed into a tree March 5 in the front yard of a home in the 2200 block of North Jackson, the office said.

A front-seat passenger, Kevin Donn, 55, of Wichita, died at the scene near 21st and Waco, the office said.

Witnesses told police that a yellow Pontiac Sunfire appeared to be speeding on North Jackson when the driver swerved to avoid hitting a mail truck and lost control. The car hit the tree on the passenger side.

Day’s blood-alcohol level registered almost 3.5 times higher than the legal limit at the time of the crash, DA spokesman Dan Dillon has said.

Day originally had been charged with second-degree murder.

Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or tpotter@wichitaeagle.com.

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