Family curious why driver left KC accident scene, wonder how loved one will recover

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A teen driver suspected of hitting a man who was walking on a Kansas City street and then driving off before calling police will not face criminal charges, according to police.

The crash happened early Wednesday morning on Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard near Bruce Watkins Drive. Police said an 18-year-old driver, whose name they have not released, hit 34-year-old Matthew Bushnell as he was walking alongside his bike near the curb.

The teen told officers she didn’t see Bushnell until she hit him, and instead of stopping, chose to drove home where she told her mother, “I think I killed somebody.”

Police said the mother called 911 and the teen later showed up at a police station to report what happened.

Bushnell is now in critical condition with head trauma, broken bones and road rash, according to his family.

“It’s terrifying,” said Bushnell’s sister, Maria. “You don’t know how he’s going to be when he comes back into his normal self – is he going to be handicapped? Is he going to have memory loss? Is he going to be able to function like he was before? There are just a lot of what-ifs?”

Investigators have since deemed it an accident, saying the streetlights were not working near the crash site and that Bushnell should've been using the sidewalk rather than walking on the street.

Police said that’s why there will be no criminal charges filed against the driver, who will instead be issued a traffic ticket.

Bushnell’s family told FOX 4 they believe the move is unjust, as they think the teen should at least be charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

“I want to know, why did she leave?” said Maria. “Why she didn’t stay there to help my brother? What if he would’ve died? Could she live with that? Like, really, would that be on your conscience? You’d be okay with that? Because we’re not at all okay with what happened.”

Bushnell’s Aunt Glenda said her nephew is a father of three who was working two jobs to support his family, and that he didn’t deserve this.

“The messages are out here: Be aware, don’t text, don’t be on your phone, no distractions,” Glenda said. “So whatever her excuse is, it’s just not good enough for leaving him to die in the road. There’s no excuse.”

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