High-speed pursuit ends with fatal accident on I-29

A high-speed chase that passed through the heart of Platte City ended in a fatal head-on collision July 2.Justin Burkholder, 35, of Kansas City, eluded police for more than 40 minutes in a stolen red 2007 GMC Sierra pickup truck before entering the southbound lanes of Interstate 29 going northbound where he struck Benjamin Shively’s 2014 Chevrolet Suburban. The two vehicles came to rest in the left lane with the front-left portion of the stolen vehicle crumpled in and Shively’s Suburban lying on its top and pointed south. Burkholder was declared dead at the scene. Shively, 38, of Overland Park, Kan., went to an area hospital via ground ambulance for injuries considered “serious,” according to a Platte County Sheriff’s Department release. The accident occurred at 2:33 p.m., and southbound traffic was rerouted down Highway 92 in Platte City for about three hours. In addition, one northbound lane was also temporarily closed, causing massive traffic backups. At least one stolen weapon was found in the truck, but there was no determination if Burkholder had been part of a residential break-in before stealing the vehicle, according to Sgt. Jerin Almond of the Platte County’s Sheriff’s office. A Sheriff’s officer attempted to pull the vehicle over just before 2 p.m., in the area of the Kansas City International Airport. Burkholder, who had a suspended license, a felony probation violation warrant out of Wyandotte County, Kan., and three failure to appear warrants out of North Kansas City, Mo., then led multiple emergency vehicles on a chase that went into Clay County near Liberty before reversing course back west on Highway 152. Speeds were reported to reach about 100 miles per hour. The pursuit then wound into Platte City on N Highway/Fourth Street before going back east on 92 where Burkholder entered I-29 going the wrong way. The head-on collision occurred just south of the entry ramp off of Highway 273. The impact launched Shively’s tan Suburban nearly 100 yards from the spot where the Sierra came to rest against the median.