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Wichita man on trial for crash that killed little girl

January 24, 2012|By Brian Heap | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

(WICHITA, Kan.) — Trial began Tuesday for the man accused of racing a friend while under the influence of alcohol and causing a crash that killed a 5 year-old Clearwater girl.

Ronald Bevan, 30, is charged with second degree murder in the death of Amber Randolph last February.

Prosecutors said the little girl was killed when her mother's car was struck nearly head on by a pick-up truck driven by Bevan's friend, Matthew Noel.

A December trial for Noel ended in a mistrial after jurors couldn't decide if he had been driving recklessly before the crash on Kellogg near Seneca.

During opening statements in Bevan's case, Assistant District Attorney Tyler Roush said Bevan and Noel had been drinking since the early morning and were "engaged in some risky driving" as they raced along West Kellogg. Roush accused Bevan of cutting off Noel and forcing him into the median.

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A Wichita police traffic investigator testified Noel's truck drove into a pile of snow that acted as a ramp, launching his truck onto the concrete barrier.  The truck skidded across the top of the divider for about a hundred feet before heading across the eastbound lanes and colliding with Michelle Randolph's car, which had pulled over to the far right shoulder.

"I knew he was going to hit me," Randolph testified.  "At that point I was stuck.  There was nothing I could do," she told jurors.

Prosecutors said after the crash, Bevan continued driving west on Kellogg, but did return to the scene later.  

According to opening statements, Bevan's blood alcohol level was tested about two hours after the crash and measured 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit.  Noel tested under the legal limit, Roush said.

Defense attorney Gary Owens told jurors Bevan wasn't racing and didn't kill Amber Randolph.

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