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Videos show final seconds leading up to deadly Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department crash in Westport

KCFD Westport Crash City Camera.jpg
Posted at 5:55 PM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 17:54:41-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Video recordings obtained by KSHB 41 News through an open-records request show the final seconds leading up to a deadly crash last December involving a Kansas City, Missouri, fire truck at the Westport intersection of Westport Road and Broadway Boulevard.

The Dec. 15 crash involved a fire truck, an SUV, several parked cars and two pedestrians.

KSHB 41 has chosen not to show the moment of impact out of respect to the victims' families.

Some might find the video disturbing.

The videos show four different perspectives of the intersection, Westport and Broadway, the night of December 15.

The videos will be at the heart of the lawsuits and investigation related to the crash.

RELATED | Families file wrongful death lawsuits

In one of the videos, you can see the KCFD pumper truck traveling from the top of the screen going north on Broadway. You can see the SUV traveling west on Westport. We froze the video before the moment of impact.

Another city camera shows a couple walking down the sidewalk. Seconds later, the pumper truck and SUV both hit three parked cars and crash into a building.

About a minute later, the building begins to collapse and causes people to scatter. It would take another two minutes before an ambulance got on scene.

The crash took the lives of Jennifer San Nicolas, Michael Elwood, and Tami Knight.

One other perspective shows the light on Broadway is red for 17 seconds before impact. The pumper truck has lights and sirens on.

After the crash, the light on Broadway stays red for another 15 seconds before turning green.

The lawsuits that have been filed allege the driver of pumper 19 was negligent and "failed to exercise the highest degree of care."

The lawsuits also claim the fire department needed to "exercise reasonable care in hiring, training and entrusting" the driver.

Another lawsuit claims the city was negligent in not maintaining the intersection. It says the intersection had "dangerous blind spots" and "inadequate signage."

The day after the crash, KCFD Chief Donna Lake spoke about what's called "controlling the intersection" at a news conference.

It's when a pumper truck 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 December.

The I-Team called KCFD on Thursday and a spokesman directed us to the city attorney.

A city spokesperson declined to provide a comment on the videos citing pending litigation.

More than five months ago, KCPD turned over the results of its investigation to the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. The prosecutor's office said Thursday the crash is still under review.

The I-Team contacted the attorneys representing the families of the victims before airing the videos on Thursday.