By Allen Edmonds
A 24-year-old Belton man is being held on $25,000 bond after allegedly crashing through a wooden fence and into a house in the 500 block of Colbern Drive, seriously injuring an 8-year-old girl.
LolaRose Newell was in her bed watching Netflix just after 8 p.m. Thursday when, “what sounded like a freight train,” the truck went through the side of the house, “which happens to be Lola’s room and the dining room. It struck Lola going 70 miles per hour,” a sibling wrote on a GoFundMe page set up for the girl’s family on Friday.
“Our 12-year-old brother had to dig her out of the debris and carry her out of the house to where she was rushed in the ambulance to the hospital,” the sibling wrote.
She was transported to Children’s Mercy downtown by Belton Emergency Medical Service, where she remained in intensive care on Friday.
According to a probable cause statement filed in Cass County Associate Circuit Court on Friday, 24-year-old Cory Lionel Palmer Hansen, who listed an address just a few doors south of the home that he struck, fled from the scene on foot. When officers arrived, they observed paramedics loading the severely injured girl into the ambulance, spoke to her father, then approached the vehicle, observing that it was unoccupied.
Soon thereafter, an officer was approached by the registered owner of the vehicle, a 21-year-old female, who a bystander said was trying to remove a phone from the vehicle. When officers asked who was in the vehicle, she told them it was only her, and that she was driving while her fiance (Hansen) was at home.
Officers had the female sit in a patrol car while they interviewed other witnesses. One provided a video from his Ring doorbell, showing a male suspect running from the vehicle. He told officers the female approached the vehicle after the accident from the same direction that the suspect fled to.
Officers attempted to contact the suspect at the couple’s home, but were unable to make contact. Eventually, the female told officers that Hansen had been driving and agreed to let officers inside her residence to arrest him. She told officers Hansen was a suspended driver, but needed to drive for work. She said he had run in the back door and said he wrecked the truck and lost his phone under the truck. She said he asked her to go back to the scene and tell police she was driving.
After arresting the suspect, officers observed signs of intoxication. At the police station, he denied consuming alcohol, but he failed standardized field sobriety tests, so police obtained a search warrant for a blood sample for testing after Hansen refused implied consent.
He is being held on charges of leaving the scene of an accident with property damage exceeding $1,000, a Class E felony, and operating a motor vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner involving an accident, a misdemeanor.
According to Lt. Dan Davis with the Belton Police Department, more charges are possible, pending the results of further testing.
Cass County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Butler did not return a text asking if further charges were under consideration.
According to the affidavit, Hansen’s driving privilege in Iowa was currently suspended. Further review of the Iowa report indicated that he had two prior arrests for driving while suspended/revoked, two prior arrests for driving while intoxicated, and arrests for failing to pay fines. In Missouri, is history revealed a prior driving while intoxicated charge and an accumulation of points.
Officers continued investigating the scene following Hansen’s arrest, finding that the vehicle had penetrated the residence by approximately three feet, and had “jettisoned” the victim’s bed from its position against the outer wall, through the south bedroom wall and partially inbto the south hallway wall. The bed was positioned perpendicular to its original position, the report said.
Another officer recovered the suspect’s phone for evidence after finding it in the grass in the yard.
The Belton Fire Marshal contacted the Red Cross for the family because the structure was not deemed habitable.
According to the home’s owner, the Belton building inspector identified damage to the floor joists, exterior walls, interior walls, rafters and roof. The owner said he suspected damage could be close to $75,000.
Police were told the girl suffered thoracic spinal injuries, and at the time of the report, could not move her legs.
The family’s GoFundMe page is located at https://www.gofundme.com/f/lolarose-newell-and-family.