Affidavit reveals more details about hit-and-run crash on 23rd Street that caused severe injuries

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Andrew A. Walden

A man admitted to police that he rear-ended a broken-down Dodge Neon that several people were trying to push in the lanes of 23rd Street, then kept on driving, according to a police affidavit in the case.

The affidavit, however, doesn’t include any explanation from the man about why he didn’t stop to provide his information or render aid.

While a related civil lawsuit alleges the driver was under the influence of alcohol, he told police that he’d had just two beers about five hours earlier.

Andrew A. Walden, 25, of Iola, was recently arrested on felony charges stemming from the crash, which happened just before 1 a.m. May 19, 2017, in the 900 block of West 23rd Street. Walden is charged with leaving the scene of an accident and two counts of aggravated battery, for allegedly recklessly causing great bodily harm to two of the people pushing the car.

The Journal-World requested and received from Douglas County District Court the police affidavit supporting Walden’s arrest. According to the document:

When the Neon either broke down or ran out of gas, three of the five people in it got out to push.

One of the Neon passengers described the vehicle that hit them as a silver Ford F-150 pickup, which police found — with a damaged front bumper and hood — about an hour later parked at Walden’s home at the time, the Connection Apartments at 3100 Ousdahl Road.

Police tried to reach Walden by calling and knocking on his apartment door but weren’t successful. They did talk to him at his apartment later, about 7:30 a.m.

Walden told police that earlier that night he’d visited friends at the HERE at Kansas apartments, 1111 Indiana St., and had two beers about 8 p.m. He said he then drove a friend to Taco Bell on 23rd Street, dropped him off at a home on Kentucky Street, then drove to McDonald’s at 901 W. 23rd St.

Walden told police he was eastbound on 23rd Street when he briefly looked down and away from the road, then looked up and saw the Neon’s taillights directly in front of him. He braked and swerved to the left but rear-ended the Neon.

He told police he didn’t stop but drove home and parked his truck at his apartment complex.

The two people most severely injured in the collision were Rowena Racehorse and Dominic Oldman.

Oldman spent a week at the University of Kansas hospital in Kansas City, Kan. After being released, he told police that he’d suffered a “shattered” femur, broken arm, dislocated wrist and had five staples to close a head wound.

For the affidavit filed with the court, police spoke with Racehorse in January 2019. She told them she was still suffering from multiple injuries from the crash.

She reported getting 26 staples in her head and being left with a permanent scar from her forehead to behind her ear. She also said she had numerous chipped teeth, numbness around her entire head and frequently had double vision.

Racehorse, Oldman and the three other people in the Neon with them sued Walden in April 2018, alleging he was negligent, wanton and under the influence of alcohol when he crashed into the car and left the scene. Their pending civil lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $75,000 for “economic losses, grievous physical injury, disfigurement, past and future medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, past and future mental anguish and medically significant emotional distress.”

Walden’s arrest came nearly two years after the collision.

The DA’s office previously told the Journal-World that it initially received law enforcement reports the month after the incident, in June 2017, but that the case “required extensive follow-up investigation.” The office received the final information it needed to file charges in January 2019 and issued a warrant shortly after.

After his arrest in April, Walden was released on $7,500 bond. He’s scheduled to make his first court appearance in the case this week.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd

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