Semi driver charged with involuntary manslaughter in fatal Pottawatomie Co. crash
POTTAWATOMIE CO., Kan. (WIBW) - Prosecutors say the semi driver accused of causing a crash that killed two people from Wamego last month appears to have been texting around the time of the accident.
Formal charges against Mark E. Stanwix, 44, of Lecompton were filed in Pottawatomie Co. District Court on Friday, Sept. 16.
Stanwix is charged with two counts of Involuntarily Manslaughter, three counts of Aggravated Battery, and single counts of Interference with Law Enforcement, Reckless Driving, and Text Messaging (while driving).
The accident happened Wednesday, August 10, on U-24 near Airport Rd. in Pottawatomie County. Officials say Stanwix was driving a semi eastbound when he rear-ended two vehicles that were stopped in the eastbound lane, one of which was making a left turn.
Randy Tinkel, 37, of Wamego was pronounced dead at the scene. Tinkel’s seven-year-old son Korbin died as a result of the crash three days later. Tinkel’s wife Jillian was was taken to a Wamego hospital with serious injuries, his two-year-old son Krew was hospitalized with critical injuries.
The Tinkels were in a Ford F250 pickup waiting to turn left onto Airport Rd., and Megan Schindler, 34, of St. Marys was seriously injured as her Ford Edge was struck while waiting for the Tinkels to turn.
Court documents state that Stanwix attempted to conceal evidence from law enforcement. Commercial motor vehicle drivers are prohibited from using handheld or mobile devices under most circumstances, including texting.
Pottawatomie Co. Attorney Sherri Schuck told 13 NEWS “evidence supports a charge involving texting that occurred at or in close proximity to the time of the collision.”
A warrant was issued for Stanwix’s arrest on Sept. 18. He was booked into custody the following day and then released on $25,000 bond.
Stanwix will make his first appearance in Pottawatomie Co. Dist. Court at 9 a.m. on October 10th.
Copyright 2022 WIBW. All rights reserved.