Murder charge filed against hit-and-run driver as family mourns - KCTV5

Murder charge filed against hit-and-run driver as family mourns

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A family is mourning the loss of a great-grandmother as prosecutors filed charges against a man accused of driving drunk when he crashed into Gertrude Price.

Price's family said Tuesday that she loved her church and her family. She was en route to church and then after that to see a newborn great-grandchild when the Lincoln she was driving was struck by a red truck allegedly traveling almost 100 mph.

"He killed my Momma," a weeping Vincent Price, Gertrude Price's son, said. "That was my best friend. I'd talk to her all the time. I don't know what I'll do."

The Jackson County Prosecutor's Office said in court papers that Jonathan P. Ross, 22, was drunk on vodka and driving a vehicle stolen from an Independence auto dealer when he raced through a red light and crashed into Price. The two vehicles then struck a white Ford truck stopped at the intersection.

Price's family says Price's daughter, Grace Price-White, is in critical condition at an ICU in an area hospital. The daughter's boyfriend suffered broken bones. The driver of the Ford was also injured.

Ross was charged with second-degree murder, three counts of second-degree assault and six other felony charges Tuesday afternoon.

Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker said in a statement that Ross had three prior drunk-driving convictions and his driver's license had been revoked. He was on probation for resisting arrest after driving a vehicle at an excessive rate of speed, Peters-Baker said in the statement.

Vincent Price said his mother was driving to her church at 18th Street and Spruce Avenue to help with a repair project when the crash occurred at the intersection of 12th Street and Hardesty Avenue. Once she completed the work at the church, Price was going to see her great-grandchild for the first time.

"Mom loved everybody. She loved her church and the people there," he said. "It shouldn't have happened to her. Not at all."

Witnesses told police that Ross was traveling east on 12th Street "down the center line" between 80 and 100 mph, according to court documents.

Ross told police that he attempted to broke into a vehicle at an Independence car dealership on Saturday, according to court documents. He subsequently stole a Jeep Liberty. He returned to the scene and stole a Dodge Dakota and damaged four other vehicles in the process.

Ross told police that his girlfriend broke up with him on Saturday and that he began drinking vodka heavily and was still drinking on Monday, according to court documents. Ross told investigators that he "made a stupid choice."

He claimed that he was driving rapidly to get to his grandmother's house after receiving a call to assist her, according to court documents.

Ross' blood-alcohol level was .12 percent almost two hours after the crash occurred, according to court documents. 

Police said Ross fled the scene but a man chased him down and tackled him.

Vincent Price said he would like to personally thank the good Samaritan.

"Without him, that guy (Ross) would have been gone. We would have never known what happened," Vincent Price said.

Jim Price said Ross has stolen the life of an incredible woman.

"He doesn't know who he killed," Jim Price, Price's son, said. "He killed a phenomenal woman. She's touched so many people. It's a shame."





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