October 20, 2014

Investigators continue to look into fatal crash

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Law enforcement officers continue to investigate the cause of a vehicle crash that killed a Gardner woman and seriously injured her husband.
Mary Steuber, 49 of Gardner, was pronounced dead at the scene of a head-on collision between a motorcycle and a car on Kansas 32 Highway east of Linwood, Kansas, on May 25.
Steuber was a passenger on the motorcycle. Her husband, Kristopher Steuber, 50 of Gardner, was taken to a hospital following the accident.
Todd Thompson, Leavenworth County attorney, said his office has not filed charges against the driver of the car that hit the Steubers.
Jamie Carter, 35 of New Century, was driving a Mercury Sable that crossed the center line, striking the Steubers’ motorcycle.
Thompson said his office is awaiting reports from law enforcement before determining whether to file charges.
Not all fatal crashes warrant the filing of criminal charges. In some cases, drivers may be charged with vehicular homicide, which is a misdemeanor. Drivers can also be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a more serious charge, or even up to second degree murder.
“That is almost a depraved and wanton recklessness,” Thompson explained. He cited driving a car into a park as an example. Even if the intent wasn’t to kill or maim anyone in the park, that driver would know that doing so may harm or injure people in the park.
“(Second degree murder) is something where they could tell their actions may result in killing someone,” he said.
He would not speculate on whether charges would be filed or what charges may be filed in the wreck that killed a Gardner woman over Memorial Day weekend. Thompson said his office will make that determination once they have received all of the evidence related to the crash.

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