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Examiner
  • Driver charged in fatal car chase

  • A Blue Springs man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his passenger, who died during a police chase ending in a crash Sunday night.

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  • A Blue Springs man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his passenger, who died during a police chase ending in a crash Sunday night.
    Michael L. Garzee, 29, faces one felony count in the death of Dustin A. Wardlow, also 29.
    According to court documents, the two men had been drinking and playing pool at a Blue Springs bar, splitting two pitchers of beer.
    They left the bar and headed home, westbound on U.S. 40, but missed their turnoff. Garzee told police he tried but failed to turn around through a parking lot and then continued west to Lake Tapawingo Lane.
    Tapawingo police officer Ernest Cole saw the Mercury Sable spin its tires and turn left while accelerating onto eastbound U.S. 40. Cole turned on his lights and sirens and pursued the car as it passed several other cars on U.S. 40 at speeds estimated at 75 mph.
    The chase entered Blue Springs, and near U.S. 40 and Southwest 19th Street Garzee lost control of the vehicle as he tried to make a right turn. The car ran off the right side of the road and hit a utility pole.
    Garzee got out of the car and made a couple stumbling attempts to run, according to police, but was quickly caught.
    When Officer Cole went back to the car, he found Wardlow dead inside. Police indicated the victim is from Overland Park, Kan., based on his driver’s license information.
    Garzee refused to take a blood alcohol test and was taken into custody and taken to Centerpoint Medical Center while a warrant was received. His blood alcohol was found to be .122 in a test done at 1:39 a.m. Monday.
    Garzee, who is on federal probation, remained in custody Monday.

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