42 Kansans have died in police chases since 1997

During the past 12 years, 42 people have died on Kansas roads in police chases, state records show. Those fatal crashes also injured 37 people.

Eight -- or about 20 percent -- of those who died were in vehicles hit by fleeing cars. Five of the eight innocent victims died in Wichita.

It is outrageous that innocent people are dying in police chases, Michael King said. His 44-year-old sister, Peggy King, died Nov. 15 while riding in a Buick struck by a car being chased by a state trooper after being clocked going 83 mph in a 60 mph zone. King described his sister as "very uplifting and pleasant to be around."

"A lot of us feel that it could have been avoided," he said of the crash.

The number of innocent bystanders killed in chase-related accidents across the state is troubling, Wichita Deputy Police Chief Tom Stolz said.

"One of those is too many," he said.

Still, the public expects police to pursue people who break the law and pose risks to others -- including traffic violators -- so it's a complicated problem, he said.

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