LENEXA, Kan. – An Olathe West student has died two days after falling out of a Jeep Wrangler on Saturday.
Friends of 17-year-old Ean Schulmeister said he was brain dead and kept on life support until his organs could be donated.
The tragedy happened around 5 p.m. Saturday near 101st Street and Sunset. Larry Dueringer and his wife were in their backyard cleaning their pool for the summer when a Jeep with five teens inside drove by.
“It was a sunny day like this. We could hear a car coming, and you could hear the radio blaring. The kids were having fun,” Dueringer said.
The music faded as the Jeep drove further away.
The father of one of the boys in the Jeep tells FOX4 that Schulmeister began standing up, grabbing a strap on the Jeep and using it to hang over the side. The dad said Schulmeister was warned to quit and after the second time, the driver turned around to go home.
That's when Dueringer heard the music approaching again.
“And we hear all the panic and everything said, 'Call 911! Call 911!'” Dueringer said.
The third time, the strap broke, sending Schulmeister tumbling onto the concrete road next to Dueringer’s backyard.
“Yeah, it was laying in the street, so when he left the Jeep he had ahold of the strap,” Dueringer said. “It was just really a nasty situation. He was bleeding from the ear, and all I did was make sure airways were clear so he could still continue breathing. I remember saying, 'Ean, how are you doing? Can you squeeze my hand?' He wasn’t responsive at all. His pupils were not dilated or responsive at all, so I just stayed with him until the medic guys showed up.”
Although Dueringer said Schulmeister was breathing when he went into the ambulance, his brain couldn’t recover. The 17-year-old died at Overland Park Regional Medical Center on Monday.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the family and help pay for funeral expenses.
The boys in the Jeep ranged in age from 15 to 18. Police say the 15-year-old was driving.
According to state law, driving on a restricted license anywhere but to and from school or a job requires a licensed driver 21 or older in the front passenger seat. Restricted divers are also not allowed to carry non-related minors in the car.
This case is still under investigation.