Suspect in custody after crash kills Turner middle schooler

Casey Knight courtesy of Katie Finnegan

A 14-year-old was killed after a vehicle overturned in a barricaded section of a road in KCK, authorities said.

Casey Knight died at the scene. She turned 14 on Sept. 8.

Police initially said two women were in the vehicle. In addition to Knight, a second teen girl was in the vehicle and she was critically injured. She remains hospitalized.

Also, KCTV5 reported that Knight was the driver, but authorities say she was ejected. It's not believed now that she was the driver.

A juvenile male is in custody Tuesday night in connection with the crash and is expected to be in court Wednesday afternoon, a source tells KCTV5.

Surveillance video captured by a man who lives near the crash scene appears to show three teens walking out of the woods shortly after the accident. One of the girls appears to be holding her side.

"I can't believe they left their friends behind. How can people do that?" Bill Kiesling said. "Why would you leave your friends?"

He said he tried to stop them. He said they should have gone to a home and sought help for their injured friends.

"I couldn't get them to stop," he said. "They were by other houses and gone."

He made a copy of his surveillance video and shared it with KCK crash investigators. KCK police have identified the other teens and are working to determine who was driving.

Neighbors described seeing the black SUV speeding down the road. They said the driver apparently tried to make a quick turn to avoid the barricades, and then lost control. The SUV rolled.

"It's terrible," said James Nelson. He added that too many drivers speed up to 60 mph down the hill.

School counselors were on hand to help grieving students at Turner Middle School. The district called it "a great loss" in a statement.

"Turner USD extends its deepest sympathy to family members and friends of our student during this very difficult time," according to a news release.

Unified Government officials said Dotson Road from 12th Street to Merriam Drive has been closed since May 2010 "to address a localized bank cave-in east of 12th."

Depending on weather, the repairs are scheduled to be completed and the road reopened by the end of the year.

"Large road closure signs along with concrete barricades have been placed at both ends of the section of roadway that's been closed off for repair," the Unified Government statement said. "The accident apparently occurred in a section of the roadway that was clearly barricaded and not in the area where construction is currently taking place."

Police continue to investigate.

A vigil will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.


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