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Archive for Wednesday, August 30, 2000

KU student’s death detailed

Prosecutors say angry driving lead to fatal Aug. 12 crash

August 30, 2000

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In the final moments of her life, prosecutors say, Laura Leftwich had a close view of an angry road encounter between rival drivers on the Kansas Turnpike.

Leavenworth County Atty. Frank Kohl said Tuesday the drivers "were engaging in well, I don't want to call it road rage."

"Apparently, there was an exchange of hand gestures."

Leavenworth County Atty. Frank Kohl

Leftwich, 18, a Kansas University student, was a passenger in one of those vehicles Aug. 12. The encounter ended in a crash and her death a day later.

Two men charged with her death are scheduled to make first appearances at 9 a.m. today in Leavenworth County District Court, Kohl said.

KU student Isadore Alex Wolfson, 19, drove the car carrying Leftwich. He is charged with vehicular homicide and following too closely.

Billy Breedlove, 43, of Kansas City, Mo., faces those charges, plus counts of leaving the scene of an accident and failing to give proper notice prior to decreasing speed.

Kohl said Tuesday the two cars were traveling west on Interstate 70 east of Lawrence when the incident unfolded. Breedlove and Wolfson began jockeying for position on the highway, Kohl said, passing each other and slowing down.

"Apparently, there was an exchange of hand gestures," Kohl said.

On the final pass, authorities said, Wolfson pulled his car behind Breedlove in the passing lane and Breedlove slammed on the brakes.

Wolfson then swerved to miss the Breedlove car, lost control, and was struck by a semitrailer truck that was following the two cars.

Authorities said that after the accident, Breedlove pulled off the turnpike at the East Lawrence exit and told the toll collector that he had been in a wreck. Instead of waiting for a state trooper, however, Breedlove left.

Wolfson is free on $5,000 bond. Breedlove was freed from Leavenworth County Jail on Tuesday afternoon. Jail officials did not know the bond amount.

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