21-year-old man charged in crash that sent Independence home and stolen vehicle up in flames
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Prosecutors filed charges on Tuesday against a Kansas City man they say crashed a stolen vehicle into an Independence home late Sunday night and caused an explosion that sent both the vehicle and home up in flames.
Dylan Bunch, 21, was charged with one count of first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle, one count of stealing $750 or more, one count of resisting arrest in connection with the incident.
According to court documents, an officer was driving near 23rd and Noland Road when he spotted an F-250 truck that had been reported as stolen. Another officer began following the stolen vehicle until more officers could move into position, including an officer in a vehicle that contained the StarChase system.
Court documents say even before officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop, Bunch began driving erratically. Officers eventually deployed StarChase, but dispatch said they did not have an active track, so officers began their pursuit. Bunch later told prosecutors that he noticed a green laser as it reflected off his rear view mirror and panicked.
Bunch continued to drive east on E. 23rd Street to avoid officers and according to court documents, reached speeds near 100 MPH. Officers were able to deploy stop sticks near E. 23rd Street and South Saville, but as Bunch tried to avoid the stop sticks he lost control of the truck and crashed into a home at 23rd and Haden and struck its gas main.
The truck burst into flames, which quickly spread to the house.
Bunch was able to walk away from the scene uninjured, but was quickly taken into custody. He told prosecutors that he has smoked methamphetamine and marijuana just prior to the incident.
A man living in the home, which was completely destroyed, had to be taken to the hospital but has since been released.
“He heard a big boom and all of a sudden the lights went out, ” the man’s niece told FOX 4 in a previous interview. “He was sitting in his recliner, and he flipped off the recliner and the recliner landed on top of him. A minute later he heard the cops kicking in the door to get him out.”