LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Douglas County Sheriff said investigators located the van they believe was involved in a deadly hit-and-run crash that killed a 9-year-old girl.
They said the van was located in the Kansas City area and will be towed back to Lawrence.
Investigators also released the names of the two victims involved in the crash.
They said 54-year-old Barry Larson, of Eudora, was riding a motorcycle with his 9-year-old granddaughter, Brooklyn Brouhard, on Saturday evening.
Deputies said the driver of the van was at the top of the eastbound off-ramp from Kansas 10 Highway to East 1900 Road. The driver pulled away from the intersection and hit the motorcycle.
Emergency responders rushed Brooklyn to a hospital with critical injuries, where she later died. Her grandfather suffered serious injuries, but is expected to survive.
While they believe they found the van, investigators said they are still searching for the person driving it at the time of the crash.
Investigators also want to talk to one of two women who stopped at the scene to help comfort the young victim following the crash. They’ve already spoken to the nurse who stopped to help.
Anyone with information on the driver’s identity is asked to call 785-843-0250 and reference case number D22-09801.
Officials and experts believe deaths like this one could be avoided if more drivers paid better attention to what’s around them.
“Just be aware of your surroundings,” Cheryl Rogers said.
Rogers, a motorcycle safety instructor at Johnson County Community College, said safe driving and riding practices are essential to reduce the number of motorcycle deaths.
“Unfortunately vehicles do not, because of our size they can’t judge our distance and speed,” she said. “And so that’s why a lot of times I think vehicles don’t see us or they turn because they think we are further away than we actually are. And as a rider you need to be aware of all those surroundings and play that what if game, and have a plan or an escape path.”
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