Wreck Nov. 5 Injured 2 Teenage Girls
12-13-04-OLATHE, Kan. — Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison charged two Grandview, Mo., police officers Monday with reckless driving.
The charges against Officers Douglass Blodgett and Brian Blessing stem from a high-speed police pursuit and crash Nov. 5 (pictured, left) that injured two teenage girls. Morrison told KMBC’s Dan Weinbaum that this was one of the hardest decisions he has ever had to make, charging police officers who believed they were doing their duty.
But Morrison said that not only were the officers speeding, but they put people in danger, and he said he plans to hold them accountable. “Right’s right and wrong’s wrong. Whether you’re police or a prosecutor or a ditch digger, you’re going to be held accountable. We all should,” Morrison said.
Weinbaum reported that Grandview police chased a car taken for a test drive that was never returned. Morrison released police dashboard video to the media, which showed the chase from Blodgett’s and Blessing’s patrol cars. Morrison said the officers showed no restraint by weaving through cars, running red lights without slowing and driving through yards. It was Blessing’s patrol car that hit a car driving by Ashley Wanger, 16, at 119th Street and Nall. Wanger’s passenger, Emma Rothbrust, suffered a crushed pelvis and internal injuries in the crash. She is now recovering at home. The officers are charged with a misdemeanor of reckless driving. “It’s not that serious of a charge, but by the same token, anytime you charge a police officer with a crime, that’s a big deal,” Morrison said. Grandview police have not commented on the dashboard video or the charges against the officers. Weinbaum reported that the families of the two injured girls are holding off comment until they understand what will come from these charges.