Victims of two fatal wrecks identified

By The Examiner staff

Independence Police have identified the victims of two fatal car crashes this week on U.S. 40. 

Carol Soendker, 77, of Napoleon, Mo., died in Monday’s crash on U.S. 40 at Fairview, just east of Little Blue Parkway. Soendker was driving a Lincoln, went north across eastbound traffic and was hit by an eastbound Dodge Ram pickup truck. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. The Ram driver suffered minor injuries. 

In Tuesday’s crash on U.S. 40 near Denton Road, Blue Ridge Boulevard and Sterling Avenue, 32-year-old Martin Withers and 41-year-old Christina Pappas, both of Kansas City, died at the hospital from their injuries. 

According to police, Withers was driving a Porsche east at a “high rate of speed” when he went into the westbound lanes to pass slower traffic and struck a silver Toyota in the far right westbound lane. Pappas’ daughter in the Toyota was seriously injured and needed surgery, while the passenger in the Porsche suffered moderate injuries. 

Both collisions remain under investigation.