Jackson County prosecutors on Wednesday charged one of three men allegedly involved in a Kansas City carjacking and police chase that ended with an innocent driver seriously hurt in a highway crash.
Darius McQuarters, 21, of Kansas City, is accused of being an accessory to first-degree robbery and armed criminal action. McQuarters and another man, identified by police as the driver of the stolen car, were arrested Tuesday after they ran from pursuing police officers across lanes of Interstate 435, which led to a collision involving a passenger vehicle and a semi-truck.
A spokesman for the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office said criminal charges were being reviewed for two other suspects arrested Tuesday. Their names were redacted from court documents.
According to the charging document for McQuarters, police were called around 11:45 a.m. to the reported carjacking at 62nd Street and Prospect Avenue. Police were told the carjacking victim and three others had been driving around looking for other cars to steal from that day.
At one point, court documents state, the victim wanted to go home but the others in his car refused. That’s when he was “pistol-whipped” and pulled out of the vehicle, according to the court document.
Surveillance video captured footage of the car leaving the gas station. Roughly 20 minutes later, patrol officers spotted the red Toyota near Bannister Road and Lydia Avenue, near the Indian Creek Greenway in south Kansas City.
Police began the chase when the driver refused to pull over for lights and sirens. Traveling at high speed and weaving in and out of traffic, the driver displayed “disregard for other motorists” before getting on the ramp for I-435, a detective wrote in the charging document filed Wednesday.
The driver lost control and went down an embankment at Bannister Road. McQuarters and another occupant bailed out of the car and ran across lanes of the highway as officers pursued on foot, court documents state.
Other motorists hit the brakes, attempting to avoid the fleeing suspects and officers, according to the court document. One driver, identified in court papers as a “female victim,” was rear-ended by a semi-truck on the highway, leading to “possibly fatal injuries.”
Police said Tuesday the driver was taken to the hospital with critical injuries. Capt. Corey Carlisle, a Kansas City Police Department spokesman, said in a statement Wednesday that police had no updates on the person’s medical condition.
During a police interview, McQuarters said he befriended the carjacking victim a few weeks ago and did not know the other two in the car. He said he was unaware they were going to attempt a robbery, and thought they just were getting gas when they pulled into the fill station at 62nd and Prospect.
Online court records did not list a defense attorney for McQuarters as of Wednesday. He was being held in the county jail on a $200,000 bond.