A 17-year-old girl is dead after an illegal street-racing crash in south Kansas City.
A witness who works in the area said it was clear the two cars were racing and the impact when one of the cars crashed was so strong it sheared the bark off two trees along the way.
The emotional impact on those involved and those who witnessed the wreck on Hillcrest Road near East Bannister may be even more lasting.
Thomasean Broom and her cousin came back to the sheared tree Wednesday evening to reprocess what they'd seen several hours earlier, as they were driving home from Burlington Coat Factory.
"As we were coming down the street, a girl just runs and jumps in front of my car and she's like, ‘Help me, help me. My friend.' And we see this car just chopped in half," said witness Destiny Carter.
Police said a white Impala was headed north on Hillcrest Road and lost control shortly after 1 p.m. A witness said the Impala and a Monte Carlo were side-by-side at high speeds and the Impala crossed in front of the other car just before crashing.
The Impala's passenger, Alycia Cornelius, and the 18- or 19-year-old man driving were lying in the grass when Carter and her cousin ran up to help as the teenage man and girl from the Monte Carlo hovered over them in panic.
"And as I came up to the girl, she's like, ‘Give her CPR,' but when I came up to her ... it was already too late. She was already gone," said Carter.
"I've never seen anything like this in my life. It was horrible. I almost passed out when I saw it, and then I started crying because that's somebody's baby," said Broom.
"And the friend was crying and said, ‘I should have went to school today. I should have went to school.' And that's all she kept saying," added Carter.
The young man driving the car that did not wreck was arrested. His identity is unknown. The driver of the car that wrecked is still hospitalized with critical injuries. He graduated from Ruskin High School last year.
The two ladies who tried to help are stuck with the realization that even those who survive will likely never be the same again.
"You just feel so bad. One stupid choice ended like this," said Carter.
Carter said, at least for now, she's having a hard time getting the image of all she saw Wednesday afternoon out of her mind.
Cornelius, a junior at Ruskin High School, would have turned 18 on April 25.
The director of media relations for the Hickman Mills School District said the young lady in the second car was also a junior at Ruskin High School and the two girls, who had skipped school that day, were best friends.
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