FOX 4 crew witnesses driver crash in East KC and flee the scene

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Just after 6 p.m. on Wednesday, FOX 4's Robert Townsend and his photographer, Jerry Paauwe were in the area of East 19th and Topping to check out a potential story, when they stumbled on a bizarre car crash.

Townsend and Paauwe saw a man hop out of silver SUV and then run across the street -- right after he crashed the vehicle into some trees.

Neighbors say the young man, in the white T-shirt, black shorts and a black baseball cap, first sped down Topping, hit several, small cable boxes, lost control of the vehicle and then slammed into the trees.

The startled-looking driver then jumped out of the wrecked vehicle which ended up on its side.

Paauwe actually walked up to the guy and asked him if he was alright, but the desperate driver just bolted across the street to a nearby apartment complex, not saying a word.
"It sounded like a big, old crash and something hitting trees," said neighbor Corie Allen about the wreck that sent her racing outside.

"We were just inside and couldn't believe it. By the time I made it out here he was gone, but everybody was talking about it. I"m not surprised. People always speed down topping like it's a race track," said Allen.

In the meantime, Townsend called 9-1-1, watched the driver dash back to the SUV, grab a backpack out of the vehicle and then just quickly walk away, moving fast down Topping, all the while looking back.

Neighbors ran to see if anyone else was in the vehicle, and it was vacant.

"I think it's stupidity. Obviously he has something to hide like he's wanted or the car's stolen or he's got warrants or something," said Allen.

By the time firefighters, police and even the owner of the SUV got on the scene, the driver was long gone.

Police have an idea of who he is. Now, they just want to find him and figure out if the SUV he left battered in the bushes was stolen.