KANSAS CITY, Mo. (TCD) — A 25-year-old man allegedly drove more than 90 mph and crashed into another vehicle, killing his girlfriend and 2-year-old daughter over the weekend.
The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office announced Wednesday, Oct. 18, that Derrius Tolson faces two counts of first-degree involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deadly crash.
According to a probable cause statement, on Saturday, Oct. 14, Tolson was ejected from his Jeep after driving through a red light at the exit ramp for southbound I-435 and crashing into a Honda Accord. A Kansas City Police officer patrolling the area had spotted the Jeep and another vehicle speeding past, and he observed that they seemed to be “chasing or racing each other.”
Tolson was allegedly driving 92 to 94 mph in a 40 mph zone before the vehicle collided with the Honda and rolled over multiple times.
Tolson was transported to a local hospital to treat his minor wounds, while the driver of the Honda didn’t sustain any apparent injuries, according to the probable cause statement.
Authorities removed Tolson’s girlfriend, identified as Deja Perkins by KCTV-TV, from the Jeep, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Perkins’ and Tolson’s 2-year-old daughter was reportedly ejected from the vehicle. Officials found her north of the Jeep in the grass and also pronounced her dead at the scene, the probable cause statement said.
The driver of the Honda reportedly stated that she was driving home when she went through the intersection. She told officials she heard a loud “boom” and “saw a vehicle overturning to her right” before she was hit.
According to the probable cause statement, another witness at the scene was behind the wheel of a Penske Ford 350 van when the blue Dodge Challenger collided with it. The witness said the Dodge Challenger seemed to be racing with the Jeep.
Tolson reportedly informed detectives that he had been driving his girlfriend, daughter, and stepdaughter to spend time pumpkin picking. Approximately one hour before the accident, he dropped his stepdaughter off at her father’s home.
Tolson, his girlfriend, and daughter then allegedly came across a Chrysler 300 with tinted windows and no license plate in the area of Blue Ridge Boulevard and Bannister Road.
Tolson said the driver of the Chrysler “revved” the engine at an intersection. When the light turned green, Tolson allegedly “felt the Chrysler was pacing him and sitting too close to him.”
Tolson reportedly accelerated to around 60 or 65 mph in an attempt to flee the Chrysler. He was uncertain whether the Chrysler had collided with his Jeep. Then, Tolson recalled the Jeep suddenly flipping over, the probable cause statement said.
Tolson reportedly admitted to authorities that he did drive through a red light before the fatal crash. He added that he believed everyone was properly secured, but his daughter “tends to undo” her seatbelt at times, according to the probable cause statement.
Officials found a loaded firearm and a backpack with marijuana and scales in a field near the Jeep. Tolson admitted they were his and that he smoked marijuana recreationally.
Tolson remains held on $500,000 bond. The investigation is ongoing, and other charges are possible.
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