By Jim Misunas
STAFFORD — With no solid leads, Crime Stoppers of Wichita/Sedgwick County is joining Stafford County Crime Stoppers to offer a $3,500 reward for information that solves a traffic fatality Nov. 5 in Stafford.
A Wichita tow truck driver was killed in the Nov. 5 traffic accident and the Kansas Highway Patrol needs the public’s help in tracking down the driver of a car.
Wichita’s Scott Christopher Burton, 39, was struck and killed by a passing car as he was securing a Village Tours bus to his tow truck after it broke down west of Stafford. The bus was transporting the Buhler’s football team to a playoff game at Ulysses.
Darryl Longpine, Burton’s supervisor at Tow Service, Inc. in Wichita, said Burton was securing the bus with chains to a flat bed trailer when a vehicle struck him.
“Scott would take photos of everything he did,” said Longpine. “He was out there trying to provide for his family.”
One witness reported seeing a maroon Oldsmobile passenger car stopped with its flashers that took off from the scene.
A second witness reported following a white passenger car driving erratically westbound on U.S. 50 from the scene. But neither witness was able to identify a tag number.
“We are pleased to partner with Crime Stoppers in Wichita to encourage anyone with information about this crime to come forward,” said Glenn Newdigger, Stafford County Crime Stoppers member. “The goal is to solve this crime, so Mr. Burton’s family can move forward and know the person whose car struck and killed him will be brought to justice.”
Anyone with information should contact Stafford County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-305-1300. Tipsters can also send tips to Crime Stoppers of Wichita/Sedgwick County by calling 316-267-2111; or by going online at www.WichitaCrime Stoppers.com, or by sending a cell phone text message to CRIMES (274637) and beginning their message with TIP217.
““Our Crime Stoppers organization is proud to assist Stafford County Crime Stoppers in helping solve this case,” said Gordon Bassham, director of Crime Stoppers of Wichita/Sedgwick County, “We have no solid leads in the case yet.”
Mr. Burton’s employer, Tow Service, Inc., has added a reward of $2,500 to the Stafford County Crime Stoppers reward of up to $1,000 to an anonymous tipster who helps solve the crime with information about the accident. Bassham said someone may know information about the driver of the vehicle that hit Mr. Burton.
Bassham spoke with the Kansas Highway Patrol offering assistance in the case shortly after the accident. Stafford County law enforcement was also brought into the discussion.
“This is the time time, a couple of Crime Stoppers groups have worked together to solve a crime,” Bassham said. “We have close connections to the media in Sedgwick County, But we’ve teamed together to get the word to as many people as possible.”
Bassham is hopeful the media blitz on the accident will encourage someone to help solve the crime.
“There is a high likelihood that the driver did not live in Stafford County,” he said. “We decided to help attract some media attention. Smart phones and technology is everywhere. It’s best we’re using our leverage to get the word out about this crime.”
Scott and Heidi Burton had celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary a week before the accident.
“He was the best husband and best father,” said Heidi Burton to a television station. “He was a great person, a great friend who would give his shirt off his back for anybody. I want justice for my kids, for his two older boys, for his family, for me, for our whole family. We are all hurt.”