An Independence man was found guilty Monday of fleeing police and causing a fatal car accident in northeast Kansas City in January 2014.
Andrew Stark, 24, was found guilty of second-degree murder, fleeing police, two counts of second-degree assault, leaving the scene of an accident – all felonies – and driving with a revoked license.
According to court records, Stark was fleeing police in a chase that started in western Independence, at times topping out at more than 100 miles per hour, when a few blocks after an Independence police officer broke off his pursuit, Stark ran a red light and crashed into a southbound vehicle on Hardesty Avenue in Kansas City.
The driver of that vehicle, 35-year-old Jason Lewis, died, and two passengers were injured, as the crash's impact pushed Lewis' driver-side door 1 1/2 feet into the car's interior, bent the car's frame and shoved the car into a yard.
Stark fled the scene, but a witness directed police to his location a block away, and he was arrested.
Independence police had started the chase after Stark was seen speeding westbound on 23rd Street at Hall Road at approximately 75 mph, almost causing two wrecks. At Interstate 435, Stark almost lost control of his car before the IPD officer broke off the chase at 23rd and Topping.
Stark will be sentenced in June. The murder charge carries a possible prison sentence of 10 to 30 years. Stark had five prior convictions of driving without a license and two other convictions of leaving the scene of a crash.