EDWARDSVILLE, Kan. -- A Wyandotte County sheriff’s deputy is under investigation after being arrested for driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident.
The law enforcement officer was allegedly driving his work SUV when he rammed into the back of another car on westbound Interstate 70 near Interstate 435 and then took off.
"I just wanted someone to stop and say, 'Hey are you OK?' He didn't do it, and he should've,” said Regina Breitenbach. She and her husband were left alone on the side of I-70 after that crash.
It happened just before 11 p.m. Dec. 13 on a dark and dreary night.
“I didn't know what to think. It happened so fast. I didn't think about it because I hadn't put on my breaks. I hadn't done anything. I was just going down the middle the road,” Breitenach said. “It just smashed -- bam! So by the time we got off the side of the road, I was just pretty shook up,”
While trying to maintain control of the car and get off the road safely, her husband saw a white SUV take off around them and weave its way through traffic ahead.
“They had no idea if we were OK,” Breitenbach said. “They hit us hard! I mean, we were going 70 miles an hour. They had to be going faster than that, and it shoved us clear forward and damaged the back of our car.”
Her feelings about the person who hit them not stopping intensified when Breitenbach found out it was allegedly a Wyandotte County sheriff's deputy who hit her.
“I was like really? And I'm supposed to be on the roads and they're supposed to be protecting me?” She asked. “And I was sorry they couldn't have stopped. I don't understand it.”
The deputy was picked up soon after the crash, and according to the Kansas Highway Patrol report, he refused a breathalyzer and was arrested for DUI and failure to stop at an accident.
Breitenbach said if it weren't for an alert witness who reported the license plate, the deputy may have gotten away with it.
“I really want to thank them because, otherwise, we wouldn't know anything and that means a lot,” Breitenbach said. “She may not have been able to stop, but what she did was even more important to me, so thank you.”
FOX4 is not releasing the name of the deputy involved at this time because he has not been formally charged yet.
The Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department would not comment, calling it a personnel issue still under investigation. The agency did say the law enforcement officer is on paid administrative leave.