20-year-old charged after man dies when thrown from back of pickup truck on I-435

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City man is now facing charges after a man was thrown from the back of a pickup truck, leading to his death.

Skylar Waddell has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident in the death of 48-year-old Steve Norris.

The victim’s wife saw the whole thing happen.

Court records say police were called to northbound Interstate 435 and Oldham Road at about 1 p.m. Wednesday. A witness told officers he saw a man, later identified as Norris, get out of a vehicle and run up to a Ford F-150 truck parked along the shoulder of the interstate.

Skylar Waddell

The witness allegedly saw Norris argue with Waddell, who had gotten into the cab of the truck. Waddell then got out and ran up to a Dodge Ram parked just in front of the F-150.

But court documents say Norris jumped into the back of the Ram and held on as Waddell allegedly pulled out into I-435 traffic aggressively.

A witness told investigators the 20-year-old suspect then “made four distinct and erratic turns or swerves in the road while changing lanes multiple times,” court records say. The witness said it looked like Waddell was purposefully trying to throw Norris off the truck.

But then Waddell allegedly lost control of the Ram truck, veered into the median and crashed. Norris was thrown from the truck and landed in the southbound lanes of I-435.

Court documents say Waddell ran from the scene, leaving the crashed truck behind.

After running the truck’s license plates and talking to several people, police determined the truck belonged to Waddell’s girlfriend. When officers arrived at her home, they found Waddell hiding in her attic and took him into custody.

Court records say Waddell’s girlfriend told police he had borrowed her truck, and when he came home that night, he told her he had crashed it and left it on the side of the road.

Police later spoke to Norris’ wife, who they learned watched the entire incident happen from another vehicle.

She told police her husband called her that afternoon, saying his F-150 had broken down with a flat tire on I-435 and asking her to meet him there, court records say.

After she arrived, they went back home so Norris could get tools to change the tire. When they got back to where his truck was park, that’s where she said they found Waddell, court records say.

Norris’ wife said the 20-year-old suspect was looking into the truck, and it appeared that he was trying to steal other tools Norris had stored in his truck, according to court documents.

When Waddell allegedly fled in the Ram truck and Norris jumped onto the truck, his wife said she followed directly behind in her car. Court records say she told police Waddell swerved and it seemed like he was trying to throw her husband off.

In an interview with investigators, Waddell said he didn’t mean to hurt the 48-year-old.

“The only thing I will say, I didn’t mean to do any harm, whatsoever. When he got out of his vehicle, he came running at me, and I got into the truck,” Waddell said. “That’s all I am going to say.”

Prosecutors have requested a bond of $45,000.

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