Three people were injured – two of them in serious condition – after a vehicle crash that stemmed from police pursuing an assault suspect in Independence Thursday afternoon.
According to Independence Police, the Lee’s Summit Police Department transferred a 911 call to them about an assault in-progress around 2 p.m. The female victim was reported to be a passenger in a white Dodge Intrepid that was traveling north on Interstate 470.
The caller said the male driver was allegedly striking the woman, who appeared injured. They were the two only people in the vehicle.
The Intrepid exited onto on westbound Interstate 70, heading into Independence. IPD dispatchers continued to receive calls from citizens reporting the assault. One caller said the victim attempted to exit the moving vehicle a number of times.
The Intrepid exited the interstate onto Noland Road where an IPD officer was able to attempt a car stop. The vehicle slowed down, and the female tried to get out, but the driver sped off. The pursuit was begun in response to the officer seeing the suspect repeatedly striking the female.
At high speeds, the Intrepid turned on 39th Street heading east. The chase lasted a few miles, through the shopping areas of 39th Street. At the intersection of 39th Street and Little Blue Parkway, the Intrepid’s driver crashed into a Jeep. Only one male was inside the other vehicle involved and he was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
Public Information Officer Tom Gentry said the pursuit was “justified” since the female passenger was in apparent danger.
Independence Police Sgt. Schmidli said the female victim is in the ICU at a hospital where she is being treated for serious injuries. The driver suspect was treated for minor injuries, later released and taken into police custody.
The names and ages of those involved have not yet been released due to investigation. Charges for the assault suspect are still pending.
The intersection was closed throughout the evening because of the investigation.