Suspect arrested for stealing Good Samaritan's car after fatal accident

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - UPDATE 7/15/2017: Kansas City, Kansas Police Chief Terry Ziegler said on Twitter the man suspected of stealing a Good Samaritan's car after he had just wrecked a different stolen vehicle has been arrested.

The wreck occurred at about 1 a.m. July 9 near 63rd and Rowland. Four people died from injuries sustained in the single-vehicle crash.

The men who died have been identified as Hayden Gottman, 20, Joshua Lindsey, 18, Cameron T. Shafer, 21, and Cory Thornburgh, 18.

Several people that live nearby heard the crash.

Chanel Banks who works in a home across from where the truck crashed says it was very loud, “The tires were screeching, and then I heard a loud boom when it hit the tree.”

Banks went outside to see what happened and called police just as another neighbor was pulling up to help.

“I got out because I could see the guy’s body just hanging out of the car,” said the neighbor who stopped by to help.

The Good Samaritan didn’t want to show her face on camera or share her name.

“I got out and walked over and I said ‘hey are you okay? Are you okay?’ I think my voice startled him because he jumped up,” said the Good Samaritan.

The injured driver got out of the wrecked truck and started walking towards her vehicle.

“I said ‘please don’t take my car, please don’t take my car.’ And he grabbed my arm and pulled my hand and was telling me to come. I said ‘I can’t come with you, I can’t come with you,’” she said.

The injured driver let go of her and got behind the wheel of her vehicle, “He jumped in my car and I said ‘Please don't take my car my kids are in the car’ and there was no one in the car but I was just trying to distract him from pulling off in the vehicle."

But it didn’t work.

“He put it in drive and peeled off towards Parallel,” she said.

That’s when the Good Samaritan turned her focus back towards the wrecked vehicle.

"As I approached the truck and the paramedics were still on the phone that's when I realized there were more people inside the truck,” she said.

As she moved in to help she was told to stop.

"Another person came by and said there's guns inside the car, there's an AR 15 in the car, 'we need to move away we need to scoot back,'” she said, "I just wanted to help."

Paramedics and police arrived within minutes and took over. 

Banks says after hearing there were guns in the vehicle she was glad she kept her distance.

"You can't help everybody, it's sad to say but you just never know what's going on,” said Banks.

But the Good Samaritan says she would stop to help again, "I was just telling one of the officers I said 'I'd do it all over again, I would. I'd do it all over again. I wouldn't do anything different."

She also hopes the injured driver is okay, "I just pray and hope that he's okay regardless of what his situation was and what happened."

Police recovered her stolen truck later Sunday morning but still have it in their possession. The Good Samaritan says she thinks that they will release it to her after they’ve completed their investigation.

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