Archive for Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Teens killed in crash had seen racing film

July 24, 2001


— Four people who were killed when their speeding car went off the road and rolled had apparently just been to a drive-in that was showing two movies about auto racing.

The car was traveling at least 90 mph, the Miami County Sheriff's Department said Sunday. The car flipped early Saturday in southwest Miami County near Osawatomie, ejecting the 20-year-old driver and four teen-age passengers.

The four pronounced dead at the scene were Michael J. Drenkhahn, 20, of Lane; David P. Brown, 14, of Paola; and Ashley N. Uhls, 14, and Kassandra J. Clark, 14, both of Centralia, Ill.

The crash occurred on John Brown Highway, a two-lane blacktop between Osawatomie and U.S. 59 with a speed limit of 55 mph.

The only survivor was Bobbi Wilt, 13, of Lane, who was flown to Overland Park Regional Medical Center, then taken to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., where she had surgery and was in serious condition.

Crash investigators determined Sunday that the car was going at least 90 mph but said they were still calculating the car's exact speed.

Lane Mayor Shirley Thomas said the five young people had been to a drive-in movie in Osawatomie before the crash. The movies showing were "The Fast and the Furious" and "Driven," both about auto racing.

"It was just a blessing there weren't more in the car," Thomas said.

Mimi Gorman, Ashley's aunt, said joint funeral services were being planned for Ashley and Kassandra. The girls will be buried next to each other.

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