TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A new photo circulating around social media is causing continuing concern among Topeka drivers.
The photo posted Monday and taken by Alex Wilson a few weeks ago, shows a woman in a vehicle covering her face with a piece of paper with holes cut out for the eyes and covered with sunglasses.
For weeks photos and videos have been shared to KSNT News and on multiple social media groups showing a woman driving a Honda CRV recklessly through Topeka. There have been reports of this woman running people off the road, causing traffic issues such as driving the wrong way on the street, stopping in the middle of the street and almost running into people.
The Topeka Police Department tells KSNT News they believe the person in the photo possibly referred to as “the CRV Lady” has been identified.
“We are following due process of any infractions the person has been cited with or any charges a citizen has made towards the person. These will be dealt with through municipal court. At such time, if the facts bear out, the proper remedy can be decided, then the citizen will be compelled to abide to such orders or standards for an acceptable outcome.”
Police said they cannot tell in the photo whether the vehicle is parked or moving or able to make a factual determination whether or not the paper “mask” is hindering the person’s vision.
“Having something on your head say, for instance, a sky-mask or balaclava while driving is not necessarily an infraction.”
Police also stated that if the driving behavior was careless and could be articulated as such, negligent driving might be cited but additional information would be needed.
“We would have to be able to establish the date of the offense and the location for jurisdiction. Also, that the person was in fact driving the vehicle and not stationary.”
KSNT News has tried multiple times to reach out to the owner of the CRV, identified as Patricia McDonald of Tecumseh, to hear her side.
KSNT News searched through McDonald’s traffic record and found that she’s been cited over 20 times for traffic violations going back to 1996. This includes seven speeding tickets, two of which were in a school zone. There’s also an inattentive driving and DUI conviction in 2003, which she received a diversion.
This latest diversion was after a case in May 2016 where she was stopped in the middle of the road. That case was finalized in October 2016. According to the Topeka Municipal Court website, McDonald has been ticketed five times since then.
McDonald is due in court April 19th for citations including reckless driving, unsafe turning and leaving the scene of an accident.
Topeka Police say if you witness such an action to call them immediately and report it so that a timely response can be made.