A Kansas City man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of his girlfriend, who was passenger in the car he crashed while fleeing police.
Latasha N. Green, 31, of Kansas City, was killed in the wreck at East 75th Street and James A. Reed Road.
She was thrown from the vehicle and died from her injuries on the way to the hospital.
Witnesses told police her 1-year-old son had been ejected and was lying in the roadway, crying. The infant was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The father of her child, 31-year-old Anthony C. Harris Jr., has been charged with felony murder, with an alternate charge of involuntary manslaughter due to a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.
Harris is also charged with child endangerment.
Raytown police say the officer stopped chasing Harris almost immediately but arrived on scene within a minute of the crash.
But at least one witness is disputing the report that police ended the chase before the crash.
Officers say they attempted to stop a silver SUV at 7:15 p.m. Sunday in the area of East 85th Street and James A. Reed Road for speeding.
Raytown police said when Harris refused to stop, the officer discontinued attempting to stop it and last saw the vehicle at East 79th Street.
Witnesses said the car ran off the road, crashed through a guard rail and flipped over multiple times before it finally stopped more than 50 yards away.
"I heard him coming up the hill. And about that time, I could see the bottom of the tires and coming down inverted," said one witness who did not want to be identified.
The man saw the fatal crash when he went outside to get something out of his truck. He said the SUV went airborne as it came over the hill.
"The sound was horrendous. It sounded like a train going over railroad tracks with a bunch of steel in the back," he said.
The car crashed through his neighbor's yard, scattering trash and debris everywhere. It then jumped the ditch and another street before it rolled to a stop across an empty lot.
"He ripped the whole guard rail out. That tells you how fast he was going right there," the man said.
Police said Harris and his two passengers were thrown from the car. Harris tried to run but was taken into custody almost immediately.
The couple's child was left crying in the middle of the road but, incredibly, survived.
"I did speak with the 1-year-old's grandfather, also the father of our victim in this case. They are relieved that they have their 1-year-old grandchild with them today," said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.
Harris is being charged as a persistent offender because he has two prior felony convictions.
Harris has been charged before with failing to stop for police and had a warrant out at the time of the wreck for skipping court on that charge.
He also got a 10-year sentence in 2008 for drug trafficking and assaulting a law enforcement officer and then got out after three years in 2011.
Green had two graduate degrees and worked as assistant director of disability services at Park University.
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Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:01 PM EDT2014-09-16 19:01:19 GMT
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