Driver could face charges in accident that injured Fort, Chriman students.

The driver of the car that became airborne and struck a tree Friday night, seriously injuring himself and four teenage passengers, will soon face charges.

Sgt. John Passiglia of the Independence Police Department said police are finishing the investigation into the accident that occurred on Bundschu Road late Friday night, seriously injuring teenagers ranging in age from 14 to 17.

The teens – three of whom are students at Fort Osage  High School and two who are students at William Chrisman High School in Independence – were still in serious condition at a local hospital, Passiglia said Tuesday. The passengers were two girls and two boys.

“They’re hurt pretty badly,” he said. “Some of them will need surgeries, others had broken bones. It was bad.”

The teens were in a 1993 maroon Cadillac driven by a 17-year-old male at about 9 p.m. Friday. The westbound car crested a hill east of Charlton Road at a high rate of speed and became airborne. When it landed, the driver lost control and the car ran off the road, overturned and hit a tree.

Passiglia said police will take information from the accident to the county prosecutor next week.

“If the prosecutor doesn’t file charges, we’ll charge him through the city,” Passiglia said. “It’s clear he should be charged. He was driving at a high rate of speed in a 35 mph zone.”

Stephanie Smith, public relations officer for Fort Osage School District, said kids are talking about it.

“It’s circulating through the community here,” she said. “And teachers are taking the event and turning it into a teachable moment, an opportunity to tell kids that there are consequences to their actions.”

A spokesperson for the Independence School District confirmed that the students were William Chrisman students, but declined further comment.