Mourners remember middle schooler who died after being struck by car Friday in Overland Park

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Posted at 3:09 PM, Apr 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-15 10:34:21-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The teenage girl who was hit by a car that was driving on the sidewalk Friday as she walked home from Oxford Middle School in Overland Park, Kansas, has died.

The Overland Park Police Department announced that Alexandra “Alex” Rumple, 14, passed away Sunday from injuries sustained in the crash near 123rd Street and Switzer Road at a local hospital.

Rumple was only a couple blocks from Oxford Middle School when a driver left the road traveling northbound and struck her on the sidewalk.

Pieces of a pedestrian walk sign and the pole that came down with it marked the scene of the crash Sunday, where a memorial banner and flowers now surround the wreckage.

Rumple was born in St. Louis and moved to Overland Park before third grade, a family member told 41 Action News. She was a talented artist and trumpet player, who friends described her as intelligent, outgoing and inclusive.

"She is wonderful to everyone," Adam Koehler, a close friend, said.

Koehler is one of several friends stepping up to help Rumple's family. He's selling blue wristbands that say "Do it for Alex." Another classmate started a GoFundMe that was supposed to cover medical expenses but will now go towards Rumple's funeral.

Some community members who stopped by Rumple's memorial remarked that it could have been their child who was hit walking down the busy stretch of road.

For Polly Arscott, that was especially true.

"When I got home from work, I found out my boys were narrowly missed by the driver," she said after dropping off flowers for Rumple.

Arscott's son, Michael, who saw the driver veer off the road and onto the sidewalk, said, "If he didn't swerve out of the road, he would have completely hit us."

Michael was in a car on Switzer.

The OPPD’s Traffic Safety Unit continues to investigate the crash and will release additional details as they become available.

Preliminary investigation reveals that there was “no obvious odor of alcohol” on the driver, who also was hospitalized after the crash. He was released Saturday from a local hospital.

Monday, police said the driver was a man in his 70s who may have suffered a medical emergency before the crash.

Police are awaiting a full toxicology report and will perform “an autopsy of the vehicle” as part of the investigation before deciding whether to recommend any charges. Investigators also may seek medical records to help nail down a possible cause.

OPPD asks anyone with information regarding the deadly crash to call the department at 913-895-6411 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

[Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated where Alex was born. Her mother is from Russia, but Alex was born in St. Louis.]