RAYTOWN, MO (KCTV) - A 31-year-old Kansas City man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of a passenger in the car he crashed while fleeing police.
Latasha N. Green, 31, of Kansas City, a passenger in the vehicle, was killed in the wreck at East 75th Street and James A. Reed Road.
She was thrown from the vehicle and died from her injuries on the way to the hospital.
Witnesses told police her 1-year-old son had been ejected and was lying in the roadway, crying. The infant was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker charged Anthony C. Harris with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child.
Initial tests of Harris's blood indicated intoxication.
Raytown police say the officer stopped chasing the driver almost immediately but arrived on scene within a minute of the crash.
But at least one witness is disputing the report that police ended the chase before the crash.
Officers say they attempted to stop a silver SUV at 7:15 p.m. Sunday in the area of East 85th Street and James A. Reed Road for speeding.
Raytown police said when the driver refused to stop, the officer discontinued attempting to stop it and last saw the vehicle at East 79th Street.
Witnesses said the car ran off the road, crashed through a guard rail and flipped over multiple times before it finally stopped more than 50 yards away.
"I heard him coming up the hill. And about that time, I could see the bottom of the tires and coming down inverted," said one witness who did not want to be identified.
The man saw the fatal crash when he went outside to get something out of his truck. He said the SUV went airborne as it came over the hill.
"The sound was horrendous. It sounded like a train going over railroad tracks with a bunch of steel in the back," he said.
The car crashed through his neighbor's yard, scattering trash and debris everywhere. It then jumped the ditch and another street before it rolled to a stop across an empty lot.
"He ripped the whole guard rail out. That tells you how fast he was going right there," the man said.
Police said the driver and his two passengers were thrown from the car. The man tried to run but was taken into custody almost immediately.
"Before I made it up the hill, Raytown was coming down the hill. By the time I made it up there by the wreck, the cops already had him in the vehicle," the witness said.
Harris is being charged as a persistent offender because he has two prior felony convictions.
In March, he failed to appear for a hearing for a pending resisting a lawful stop charge. A warrant was issued for his arrest.