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Archive for Friday, May 18, 2001

Trial ordered in fatal accident at Sixth and Wakarusa

May 18, 2001

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The husband of a woman killed in a February traffic accident testified Thursday how he saw two oncoming headlights before the collision pinned his wife in the vehicle.

John McGee, 25, was about to exit the intersection of Sixth Street and Monterey Way when he glanced out the passenger's window and saw a vehicle bearing down on him.

"I looked to the right and saw two headlights," McGee said Thursday in Douglas County District Court. "After that, I just blacked out."

McGee testified during the preliminary hearing for Brandon Gentry, 30, Lawrence, charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of McGee's wife, Shyra, 23.

John McGee was driving the vehicle struck by Gentry's.

"I heard her moaning, and I told her not to worry, help is on the way," said McGee, who suffered a broken jaw in the accident. Douglas County District Judge Jack Murphy ordered Gentry to stand trial. Defense attorney James Rumsey entered an innocent plea on Gentry's behalf.

A jury trial is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 25.

Shyra McGee died at Kansas University Medical Center, where she was flown after the Feb. 4 accident.

Another passenger, Amber Sellers, 20, broke her right upper arm. The bone has healed, she testified Thursday, but she still has range-of-motion limitations.

Gentry is charged with involuntary manslaughter, two counts of aggravated battery, driving under the influence, failing to stop at a stop light and speeding.

Gentry is accused of running a red light at the intersection, slamming into the passenger side of the McGee vehicle.

Prosecutors disclosed during the hearing that Gentry's blood-alcohol concentration, measured at Lawrence Memorial Hospital soon after the accident, was .28 percent. He allegedly had drunk 15 beers that night, according to previous testimony.

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