Charges filed in fatal hit-and-run in East Bottoms


KANSAS CITY – Felony charges have been filed against a 39-year-old Kansas City man in connection with last week’s fatal hit-and-run.

Johnny L. Neeley faces one count of Second Degree Involuntary Manslaughter, one count of Leaving the Scene of an Accident, and one Class D Misdemeanor of Driving While Revoked/Suspended.

According to a probable cause statement, officers responded to 1800 E. Front Street on Tuesday, April 9 at approximately 1 p.m. in regard to a fatal hit-and-run crash.

A dark blue Nissan was traveling westbound on Front Street and through the intersection at 1800 E. Front Street when it crashed into a Cadillac Deville, which was traveling north.

The driver, Neeley, fled the scene on foot prior to police arrival. The front seat passenger of the Nissan suffered non-life threatening injuries and remained at the scene. The driver of the Cadillac was transported to an area hospital with life threatening injuries. The passenger of the Cadillac, identified as 78-year-old Emma Hayes of Kansas City, was also transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead from the injuries sustained.

A witness who was driving on Front Street said he saw the Nissan chasing a black Chevrolet pickup. Both trucks passed him on either side of his vehicle, and the witness saw the Nissan crash into the Cadillac. He then said he saw the driver of the Nissan climb out of the driver window, walk to the passenger side of the vehicle and retrieve an unknown object from the glove box and leave on foot.

Another witness said she thought the Chevrolet and Nissan were involved in a road rage incident or a street race.

Officers responded to Neeley’s home, who refused to exit his house. An Operation 100 ensued at approximately 3:15 p.m. and continued until 7:10 p.m. when Neeley finally exited his home and was apprehended.

During an interview with Neeley at the police facility, Neeley said he was involved in an altercation at his residence with a man that his girlfriend had hired to do some construction work.

The man arrived in a black Chevrolet pickup truck and after the altercation ended, the girlfriend called and told Neeley the man was following her and she feared he was going to harm her.

Neeley said he then picked up a passenger so he would have a “witness” with him. Neeley then drove toward Front Street. Neeley stated he pulled onto Front Street to catch up with the Chevrolet so he could record the license plate. Neeley said he was traveling approximately 50 mph when he drove through the intersection and saw the white Cadillac turn left in front of him.

Neeley stated his light was green and he tried to avoid the crash by braking and turning to the right, but was unable to avoid the collision.

After the crash, Neeley climbed out of the Nissan through the driver’s window and fled on foot across the train tracks. He then asked a driver of a semi truck to give him a ride home. The driver gave him a ride to a gas station and then Neeley walked to his residence.

Neeley is currently released on bond with an arraignment scheduled for Thursday, April 25 at at 9 a.m. in Kansas City.

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