‘Black box’ recovered Monday from car involved in fatal crash on US-75 highway
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka Fire Department crews on Monday morning used the Jaws of Life rescue tool to help Kansas Highway Patrol officials recover a “black box” from a car that was involved in a fatal head-on, wrong-way crash in February on US-75 highway in southern Shawnee County, authorities said.
The Kansas Highway Patrol around 10:30 a.m. Monday requested assistance from the Topeka Fire Department in gaining access to a badly damaged 2010 Chevrolet Impala that authorities said was involved in the fatal crash and that was being held at Brown’s Super Service, 3812 S.W. South Park Ave.
The Kansas Highway Patrol obtained a search warrant to recover the “black box” from the Chevrolet, authorities told 13 NEWS on Monday morning. However, the car was so badly damaged that authorities couldn’t gain entry into it to recover the “black box,” which was believed to contain information from the car.
Consequently, the Topeka Fire Department was called Monday morning to use the Jaws of Life to cut into the car and help the Kansas Highway Patrol gain access to the “black box.”
Topeka Fire Department crews cleared the scene around 11:30 a.m. Monday.
The fatal crash occurred around 9 p.m. Feb. 15 on US-75 highway near S.W. 97th Street when authorities said a Chevrolet Impala that was being driven north in the southbound lanes of US-75 by Anthony R. Tugwell, 40, of Scranton, collided head-on with a car being driven south on the highway by Alyssa M. Lee, 16, of Carbondale.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Lee, a junior at Santa Fe Trail High School, was transported to a Topeka hospital, where she was pronounced dead from her injuries.
Tugwell was booked into the Shawnee County Jail in connection with driving under the influence; driving in the opposite direction on a divided highway; reckless driving; and involuntary manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
He remained Monday in the Shawnee County Jail, where he was being held on $500,000 bond.
Tugwell also was being held on a $5,000 bond for another county in Kansas, according to Shawnee County Jail records.
Tugwell is scheduled to appear June 1 in Shawnee County District Court.
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