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Police investigation continues 8 weeks after deadly Westport crash

3 people died in wreck involving KCFD pumper, SUV
westport pic.jfif
Posted at 4:36 PM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 12:51:28-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wednesday marks eight weeks since the deadly crash involving a Kansas City, Missouri, fire truck and an SUV in Westport.

Initially, Kansas City, Missouri, Police investigators said crashes like this one usually take six to eight weeks to investigate. When the KSHB 41 I-Team checked in on Wednesday, KCPD said the case file had not been sent over to the prosecutor’s office yet.


Three people died after a KCFD pumper truck and an SUV collided at Broadway Boulevard and Westport Road. The vehicles crashed into a nearby brick building that later partially collapsed.

"There's skid marks out there and they start way down here in the intersection and go pretty much all the way up to the building,” John Glennon, a crash reconstruction expert, told the I-Team days after the crash.

The crash reconstruction expert met with the I-Team at the site. He explained the first thing he saw driving through the intersection.

“There's very little time to see a vehicle coming into the intersection here," Glennon said. "There’s no visibility in the approach at all."


The issue of visibility was one of the concerns brought up in the third wrongful death lawsuit from the family of Jennifer San Nicolas.

It said the city was “negligent by creating and maintaining the intersection of Westport Road and Broadway in Kansas City, Missouri in a dangerous condition.”

The 2018 Midtown Complete Streets Report called the area “uninviting” with a “dangerous reputation.”

Right at the intersection of Westport Road and Broadway Boulevard is a new apartment complex.

Before the Kansas City Planning and Development Department signed-off on the project, they had several conditions.

One included the developer making sure “adequate sight distance standards” were met.

The I-Team followed up with the city about the sight line concerns, but was told they couldn’t comment on information in a pending lawsuit.

All three lawsuits claim the pumper truck entered the intersection with a red light, which lines up with an initial police incident report the I-Team obtained.

The truck had lights and sirens on that night. The question now is whether the pumper truck driver had control of the intersection.


In a news conference with reporters the day after the deadly crash, KCFD Chief Donna Lake described ‘controlling the intersection’ as when a pumper driver ensures it’s safe to enter an intersection.

“When we approach intersections, the idea is to make sure they can clear all lanes of traffic as they approach the intersection and proceed the intersection,” Lake said in the news conference.

Through a Sunshine Law Request, the KSHB 41 I-Team obtained a copy of the general operational guidelines from KCFD when they are in emergency response.

It says, “KCFD vehicle operators shall exercise caution and may proceed for a safe operation without coming to a complete stop when approaching:

  • A red traffic control signal. 
  • A stop sign. 
  • A negative right of way intersection. 
  • An unguarded railroad crossing.” 

However, KCFD’s rules and regulations say something different.

A rule says, “unless all lanes can be accounted for by the driver during an emergency response, all Fire Department vehicles shall come to a complete stop at all red light intersections and negative right of way situations.”

When the police department finishes its investigation, a case file will be sent to the prosecutor’s office.

The prosecutor’s office will decide if anyone will face charges.

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