Woman struck and killed on I-35 after falling out of party bus
10:50 AM, May 5, 2013
5:40 PM, May 6, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A girls' night out ended tragically Saturday when a 26-year-old mother was killed after she fell out of a party bus on Interstate Highway 35 and was struck by several passing cars.
Police say Jamie Frecks fell from the bus emergency door on northbound I-35 at Southwest Boulevard before she was hit by at least three vehicles.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her family said they were devastated to hear the details of what happened. They want to know exactly what went wrong and why she never made it home.
Cynthia Matteson is the victim's aunt. She said Jamie was a new mother and that Saturday night was one of her first nights out without her baby girl.
"She has a 5-week-old baby. She is a very good mother," Matteson said. "Jamie was very full of life. She loved her family dearly."
Matteson said the group was celebrating a bachelorette party and hired a company to drive them to make sure they were safe.
She wants to know why the door came open.
"Why wasn't it secure?" Matteson said. "A person hires a person for safety; to get you there and back home. Why wasn't she brought back home safe?"
The bus in question is a 1999 Ford Econoline E-450, which belongs to the Midnight Express bus company. The bus was still in Kansas Highway Patrol custody Sunday night.
Records show the company was formed in 2010 by three area men. The company was considered to be in good standing with the state of Kansas as recently as February, when its business license was renewed.
41 Action News could find no outstanding safety issues with the company, but a search of two federal databases that track commercial vehicle safety found no mention of the company -- a possible red flag, according to transportation attorneys.
The company's official physical address is a post office box in Shawnee, and no one answered the door Sunday at the listed home address of two of the owners.
Contacted by phone Monday morning, Eddy Goetz, one of the party bus company's owners, read the following prepared statement.
"On behalf of the owners and employees of Midnight Express party bus, we want to express our sincere sympathy for the family and friends touched by Saturday night's tragic accident that took the life of Jamie Frecks. We are trying to find out how the tragic accident could have happened. We will cooperate fully with everyone to find out the cause of this accident."
Police said only one of the vehicles that struck Frecks stopped after the incident. They are seeking the two other cars involved.
"The people that ran her over know they ran her over. They need to come forward. The family is just begging them to come forward," Matteson said. "This wasn't fair to Jamie."
She said the family still has many questions left unanswered.
Sixteen other people were on the bus at the time of the incident. None of them were injured.
On Sunday night, Frecks' family members and friends posted a call for donations to help support the woman's two-month old daughter and fiancé on Facebook,
here. They asked for monetary donations to be sent to P.O. Box 13137 Edwardsville, Kan. 66113 – and asked for donations of diapers and baby formula, as well.