Victim of hit-and-run, attorneys for law enforcement accused respond to Wyandotte County charges

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February 07 2021 05:30 pm

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The victims of a December 2019 hit-and-run are speaking out about the charges against three law enforcement officers allegedly involved in the crime and possible cover-up.

“I’m happy that it’s come to some kind of conclusion,” said Regina Breithenbach.

It has been a long wait for Breitenbach and her husband, Charlie, for someone to be charged in a the hit-and-run crash on westbound I-70 near I-435.

“Just all the sudden we just felt shoved forward,” said Breithenbach. “I mean, it just felt like your car jumped.”

A white SUV with official Wyandotte County plates allegedly driven by Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Detective Michael Simmons Jr., took off after smashing into the back of Breitenbach’s car.

While she continues to deal with medical issues from the crash, learning the suspect is a law enforcement officer was emotional for Breitenbach, who has the highest respect for officers of the law.

“It’s bad that these three are going to make the rest of them look bad to everybody,” said Breitenbach. “I don’t want them to look bad to everybody, I just want the ones who are doing stuff to be treated like we would be treated if we had done something wrong.”

Two other law enforcement officers were also charged in this case for what they allegedly did to help Simmons. Kansas City Kansas Police Detective Sarah Panjada and Major Andrew Carver with the sheriff’s office have been charged with misdemeanors for official misconduct and interference with law enforcement.

FOX4 spoke with Carver’s attorney about the allegations.

“My client not only did nothing whatsoever to obstruct that investigation, but did everything within his power to assist the investigation,” James Spies said. “I submit that there will be evidence that demonstrates just that.”

Michael Duma, who represents Panjada, and said in a statement sent to FOX4: “Ms. Panjada denies the allegations and looks forward establishing her innocence in the court of law.”

Simmons’ attorney declined to comment.

The first hearing in this case will be on February 13.

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