RCPD releases name of driver in April hit-and-run on Bluemont

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Editor’s note: The initial version of this story incorrectly referenced the accident as a fatal hit-and-run. Wilhelm, the victim, is alive and still receiving treatment. KMAN regrets and apologizes for the error.

Additional details have been released regarding a hit and run case KMAN reported on more than a month ago. The case has been forwarded to the Riley County Attorney’s office regarding possible charges and the name of the driver has been released.

The release reminds us officers with the Riley County Police Department responded to a report of a hit and run injury accident that occurred at 12th St. and Bluemont Ave. on April 14, 2017 at approximately 1:55 AM. When officers arrived on scene, they found a pedestrian, later identified as Amber Wilhelm, 21, of Manhattan, suffering from severe injuries after being struck by a vehicle. The vehicle has been identified as a white 2008 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Nicholas Blaha, 21, of Manhattan. The investigation revealed that at the time of the accident, Wilhelm had stopped in the crosswalk and was bent over. Wilhelm was then struck by Blaha, who was traveling westbound on Bluemont Ave.

Wilhelm was transported to Via Christi and then lifeflighted to Stormont Vail for her injuries.

Detectives and patrol officers spent hundreds of hours investigating this case, interviewing dozens of people, looking at video pulled from a variety of sources throughout the city (including Fort Riley), and reconstructing the scene. At this point the investigation has concluded.  Although no arrests have been made or citations issued, the case has been forwarded to the Riley County District Attorney’s office for review to determine whether charges will be filed.

Wilhelm’s parents filmed video statements through the RCPD Facebook page last month pleading for the driver to come to the police. They were shared through various media outlets in the region and through the social media accounts of everyday citizens.

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Cathy Dawes

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