Archive for Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Student killed driving wrong way

Exchange student’s car collided with two other vehicles

February 19, 2002


— A foreign exchange student driving the wrong way on a freeway was killed when his car collided with two other vehicles, police said.

Tom Kariuki, 20, a Kenyan exchange student at Butler County Community College in El Dorado, was killed in the accident Sunday morning on the Kellogg freeway near downtown Wichita.

Police spotted Kariuki, 20, traveling west in the eastbound lanes about 4:30 a.m., Capt. Gary Tabor said. They pursued Kariuki to a nearby exit, Tabor said, but stopped at that point for safety reasons and contacted the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Police spokeswoman Janet Johnson said the department has a new policy that allows a supervising officer to determine the danger of chasing a suspect.

According to the Highway Patrol accident report, after passing the central business district exit, Kariuki lost control.

Kariuki, who was traveling almost 100 mph with his headlights off, skidded sideways and hit two other vehicles that were traveling eastbound, investigators said.

The two other drivers and a passenger were taken to Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Francis Campus. As of Sunday evening, Angelica Guerrero, 25, was in critical condition. Her passenger Maria Rodriguez, 49, was in serious condition. Luzmila Montiel, 29, was treated and released.

An autopsy on Kariuki is pending.

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