Platte City man sentenced to 6 years for fatal wreck

A drunk driver who rear-ended another car on Interstate 29, killing the driver, has been sentenced to six years in prison. 

Nicholas Sanders, 25, of Platte City, received the sentence on Thursday, Jan. 11 after pleading guilty in November of 2017 in Platte County Circuit Court to involuntary manslaughter in the first degree.

 Nicholas Sanders

Nicholas Sanders

“An innocent man is dead because this defendant got behind the wheel after drinking,” Platte County prosecuting attorney Eric Zahnd said. “In the age of Uber, there is no excuse for drinking and driving.”

Sanders admitted to driving drunk and causing a crash that killed Michael Sear, 58, who was driving another vehicle. 

Troopers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to northbound I-29, south of Mexico City Avenue, in the early morning hours of May 28, 2016.  They found two vehicles in the median.

Troopers contacted Sanders, who smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes, and slurred his speech. Sanders admitted to drinking that night. 

The driver of the other vehicle, Sear, was unresponsive.  He was transported to North Kansas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Sear was driving home from KCI airport with his wife when the crash occurred.  During sentencing, she told the court that she lost her soulmate, the love of her life, and remains physically and emotionally broken as a result of the crash.

“This completely avoidable crash brought a tragic end to a loving marriage,” Zahnd said. “One spouse is dead and the surviving spouse will live with the pain this drunk driver caused for the rest of her life.  Please, if you’re going to drink, just don’t drive.”

The case was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. It was prosecuted by assistant prosecuting attorney Kaitlynn M. Donnelly.