Tragic Outcome! Driver Killed, Passenger Injured in Independence Police Pursuit Crash


A driver was killed when a police pursuit culminated in a crash early Tuesday in Independence. A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper attempted to stop a black Jeep at 2:49 a.m. on U.S. Highway 40 near South Crysler Avenue, according to X. As the trooper chased the Jeep, Independence police placed stop signs on South Sterling Avenue, just south of East 23rd Street.

The vehicle lost control after hitting the strips and collided with a utility pole. They were discovered deceased at the spot. A passenger in the vehicle was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries. The driver allegedly violated various lane markings and was suspected of driving while inebriated, officials said.

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According to Independence police, 23rd Street between Sterling and Harvard Avenues was closed in both directions on Tuesday morning for the investigation. It has now reopened.

Grace Barker, a resident of the neighborhood where the pursuit ended, says she is aware of numerous pursuits in the area in recent years. In general, drivers speed through the neighborhood, she said. “They drive like maniacs out here,” she explained.

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MSHP’s regulation is one of 28 in the metro region that allows cops and troopers to pursue a vehicle for nearly any offense, according to a Star investigation. Many policing professionals believe that these broad regulations frequently pose hazards to public safety that outweigh the benefits of an arrest.

Other police agencies, such as Grandview, only authorize pursuits when a felony is suspected. According to the Star’s study, nearly half of all police chases in Independence in 2022 began on five high-traffic highways. Those included U.S. 40 Highway, 23rd Street, Noland Road, U.S. 24 Highway, and Truman Road, with 46 of those cases resulting in crashes.

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