The Douglas County coroner has released autopsy reports in three of the four deaths caused by a North Lawrence wreck, and the county's top prosecutor says she's nearing a decision on possible charges stemming from the accident.
The autopsy reports for Yancy Longhat, 20, of Zuni, N.M.; Albert Whitebull, 25, of Kenel, S.D.; and Ray "Mike" Red Elk, 24, Anadarko, Okla., indicate all three had been drinking alcohol before the accident. According to the report, they were with friends "drinking alcoholic beverages in a rural field after bars had closed."
According to toxicology tests, Longhat's blood-alcohol concentration was .08, which is the point of legal intoxication, according to Kansas laws. Whitebull and Red Elk had blood-alcohol concentrations of .22, according to coroner Erik Mitchell's report.
The three men were killed when they were ejected from the bed of a pickup truck driven by Manuel Brown, 20, on Aug. 29 in North Lawrence. The truck hit Union Pacific railroad tracks near Seventh and Maple, flipping end over end and ejecting all six occupants of the truck's bed.
Another passenger in the back of the truck, Clint Wahquahboshkuk, 23, of Mayetta, died Sept. 10 at the Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan.
A police report indicated alcohol contributed to the accident, and reports containing the results of the blood-alcohol tests were sent to the district attorney's office in mid-September. The test results have not been released to the public.
On Friday, Douglas County Dist. Atty. Christine Kenney Tonkovich said she plans to make a decision on possible charges in the case sometime next week.
-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.