Man charged with vehicular homicide in Thanksgiving morning crash in Olathe

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OLATHE, Kan. -- A man accused of being drunk and causing a deadly accident in the early hours of Thanksgiving morning appeared in Johnson County Court on Monday.

According to Olathe Police, the crash between two cars happened at about 3 a.m. on 56 Highway at 159th Street on November 27.

Initial reports indicate that one vehicle was traveling north on 56 Highway when it was struck by the other vehicle traveling west on 159th Street.

The driver traveling north on 56 Highway was killed. Authorities say he was 31-years old. Police say his name is Idir Lounes, a native of Algeria. He had two young daughters, four-years-old and 21-months-old, and his wife is 4 ½ months pregnant with their third child.

"He's an angel. He is lovely man. He has a good heart," said Djamilia, Idir's wife.

Police arrested the other driver, Souksavanh Chamnongchith, 32, on suspicion of driving under the influence. He was charged Monday afternoon with vehicular homicide and remained in jail on $100,000 bond.

"He loved his family. He loved soccer," said Djamilia.

She says he was a strong and caring family man. He was once a reporter for an Algerian radio station.

She says her husband worked at the Coleman Company Manufacturing plant in Gardner, Kan. He was heading home, looking forward to a Thanksgiving day with the family, when he was killed.

"Almost when he comes at three, I wait for him," she said. "I tried to call his friend first, and he clocked out. 'He is coming,'" she recalled.

Idir had lived in the United States for five years.

"Everybody who knows him is shocked, whether that's here or elsewhere; Algeria, Canada and France," said Idir's uncle, Aziz Lounes.

Anyone with information regarding the crash is asked to call the Olathe Police Dept. at 913-971-7500 or 913-971-6950.

"I loved everything," his wife said.

The family plans to take Idir's body back to Algeria where he will be buried.

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