KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bright pink and silver balloons fly from a post at I-435 and East 23rd Street, where a crash on Sunday ended the lives of two girls. One was 16-years-old. Her name is Sami Raudales. The other was 3-years-old. Her name is Ryan Grace Hampel.
Ryan Grace and Sami were in two separate cars when police say the driver of a black Dodge pickup, heading northbound on the exit ramp from I-435 to 23rd, rear-ended a gray Toyota SUV, which was stopped at a red light facing north at the intersection.
Sami Raudales, 16, was in the Toyota SUV.
The crash forced the SUV into the intersection where it struck an eastbound red Hyundai passenger car and an eastbound brown Dodge pickup. The Hyundai was redirected into a metal traffic signal pole in the raised median of the roadway.
Ryan Grace Hampel, 3, was riding in the red Hyundai. Friends of the family have set up a Meal Train page for them.
Hampel leaves her parents and two older sisters.
The driver of the pickup was taken into custody but has since been released while the investigation is ongoing. As of Tuesday, he had not been charged with any crime. Witnesses told police they saw the suspect speeding before the crash, weaving in and out of traffic and say he did not slow down before hitting the truck.
Sixteen-year-old Samantha Raudales’ father was also critically hurt in the crash and remains in the hospital. Friends say the day before the crash, Samantha celebrated her 16th birthday with her family.