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Witness speaks about crash that killed a eight-month-old child

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 4:18 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A person in the neighborhood of SW 5th St. and SW Polk St., who wanted to stay anonymous, said he was arriving home when he heard a loud noise coming from the intersection where he saw two cars come to a stop with one flipped over and called 9-1-1.

He said an officer was on the scene within 30 seconds of his call and after taking things into his residence, he went back out to the crash and took pictures. The authorities then started to pull out the individuals from the vehicles. The person who spoke with us said the authorities took the eight-month-old child out of the rear window and started to perform CPR. He then walked inside.

“I had a feeling the child was not going to make it and when I seen that -- nah, it don’t feel good, you know. But you just got to deal with it, he said. “When they removed the child out of the car that was laying on its side, they did perform infant CPR on the child as they were getting it to the ambulance and that’s when I came back home.”

The larger vehicle, a Cadillac Escalade, was speeding on the wrong side of the road, ultimately hitting the oncoming car.

“Now it was 6 o’clock so it could have been a downtown person but when the Cadillac Escalade reported to be running upwards of 80 miles per hour, going the wrong way on the one-way street, leads to believe that it was either stolen or that there’s probably a backstory,” he said.

He said it is normal to see people driving fast on the one-way roads and it’s fairly normal to see or hear crashes, but this one was more severe because of the baby being involved.

“The front wheel of the Escalade was knocked all the way off and there was car parts all over the street which the police put markers out to try and kind of recreate the scene and yes, there were several car parts,” he said.

The Topeka Police Department said the crash left four occupants transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. The seven-month-old baby did not survive the crash.

The person who spoke with us said the community is planning a candle light vigil in remembrance of the life lost at 6 p.m. on Friday in the empty lot near the crash scene.

“Everybody wants to see the crash, everybody -- but no, it does give an opportunity for the neighborhood to come together a little bit and especially with the lady putting together a small vigil and candle lighting stuff, gives the neighborhood an opportunity to show other people that we care and are thinking about them,” he said.

On Tuesday March 30 at around 5:51 p.m., officers with TPD responded to a serious injury at the intersection of SW 5th St. and SW Polk St. They said their preliminary investigation indicated the driver of the light colored SUV was driving the wrong way at a high rate of speed when it crashed into the second dark gray colored vehicle.

The baby died in the crash. Three other adults remain in critical, but stable condition at a local hospital.

The driver and single occupant of the light colored SUV is also in the hospital and remains in stable condition.

TPD said they were not in pursuit of either vehicle.

The investigation is ongoing and TPD encourages anyone with information to email them at TellTPD@Topeka.org or leave an anonymous tip by calling Shawnee County Crime Stoppers at 785-234-0007.

You can also contact the Topeka Police Criminal Investigation Bureau at 785-368-9400.

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