WCH 12 News is reporting that a man has been arrested in connection with a car crash that took the life of Wichita radio personality Don Hall (https://www.kwch.com/content/news/One-killed-in-E-Wichita-crash-570035641.html).

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, April 29, 70-year-old Hall was driving east on Kellogg Drive in the City of Wichita. When the DJ turned from Kellogg onto Rock Road, he was hit by 43-year-old Ray Watkins, who was going south down Rock Road and ran a red light right before his vehicle collided with Hall’s. 

Shortly after the crash, police officers arrived at the scene at the intersections of Kellogg and Rock Roads. They found Hall pinned in his own vehicle. He was pulled out from the vehicle in critical condition, and he died on the scene.

Watkins only suffered minor injuries in connection with the crash, and he was arrested without any incident. Law enforcement officials say Watkins had been previously arrested and convicted of a charge of aggravated robbery.

According to police, Watkins had drugs and alcohol on his person and in his vehicle, and they believe these were factors in the deadly crash. The 43-year-old has since been charged with murder in the second degree in connection with Hall’s death.

Local police chief Gordon Ramsay issued a statement saying that Don Hall was a large part of the local community for years and will be missed. 

Wichita State University (WSU) also issued a similar statement in light of Hall’s passing. Hall began announcing the basketball games for WSU’s men’s team, the Shockers, in 1983. According to the university, in his 36 years as the announcer, Hall only missed two games. He also worked as a radio announcer for several local stations for 45 years and was on KEYN Radio prior to his untimely death.

Despite the national attention to the dangers of driving while impaired, people still continue to do so at an alarming rate. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that on average, around 30 people die each day in alcohol-related crashes in the US; that works out to one death at 50 minutes daily (https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving). While deaths stemming from alcohol-involved crashes have dropped by one-third in the last 30 years, over 10,000 lives are still claimed in this manner every single year.

People do not have to get incredibly intoxicated to cause accidents, either, although that is a common misconception. Just a blood alcohol level of .02 can result in a loss of judgment on a driver’s part and a decline in their ability to pay attention and track moving targets visually. Simply put, any type of drinking and driving do not mix well and can result in serious accidents, changing people’s lives forever in just seconds.