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Kansas City police taking steps to ensure impartial investigation in I-435 deadly crash

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith says the officer involved in a deadly crash Sunday near Arrowhead Stadium is still receiving medical care and has not yet given investigators a statement explaining what happened.

Police said they're making sure this crash is handled the same as any other.

An off-duty police officer driving a police van rear ended a family's car Sunday afternoon as they were on their way to the Chiefs game.

The crash killed Chandan Rajanna, 17, who was driving his family to Arrowhead, and left two other family members in critical condition.
The crash happened in slow moving bumper-to-bumper game traffic that was lined up to exit I-435.

Smith also says the Missouri State Highway Patrol is monitoring the investigation and has seized the police van as evidence, storing it under the watchful eye of a surveillance camera so that no Kansas City police officer can tamper with it.

"We are treating this exactly the same," Smith said. "And we did bring the highway patrol. They mirrored us so they watched what we did. We had some capabilities that would have taken hours of resources for them to get to the scene. We wanted to get the highway open so we asked them to come and mirror us and stand over us while we did our investigation. That’s what they did."

Smith also defended the use of police vehicles for off duty security work at the stadiums. He says allowing off duty officers, like the one involved in the crash, to use department vehicles for a side job prevents on-duty resources from being tied up at the sports complex.

Smith also says the backup on the highway caused problems for Chiefs players trying to get to the stadium. Police had to keep traffic moving while investigating the crash. He says having 80,000 people show up at one location, even under normal circumstances, takes a lot of resources and coordination.