Man’s suspected third DWI tragically kills popular, rising UMKC graduate

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A twice-convicted DWI offender from Kansas has been charged in a June 8 fatal car crash that killed a beloved, newly minted University of Missouri-Kansas City graduate.

Zachary Zorich, 31, Prairie Village, has been charged with a class B felony of driving while intoxicated resulting in death. Pronounced dead at the scene was 25-year-old Remington Williams, a recent graduate of the UMKC School of Law and a highly respected student representative to the University of Missouri Board of Curators.

“Remington was an outstanding individual and a tremendous asset to the Board of Curators,” Board chairman Darryl Chatman said in a statement. “He was actively engaged with the students at each of our four universities and worked to amplify their successes, promote their stories and ensure their concerns were heard. Remington was the best of us, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

According to official records, Kansas City police officers responded to a vehicular crash just past midnight on June 8 at the intersection of 75th and Ward Parkway. Officers determined that Zorich’s vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, was traveling at a high rate of speed westbound on 75th as it approached the intersection. Zorich allegedly ran the red light and struck the victim’s vehicle, a Mercedes Benz traveling southbound on Ward Parkway, on the driver’s door. 

Zachary Zorich

While questioning Zorich after the crash, DUI Officer Nathan Magers immediately detected a “strong odor of intoxicants.” The probable cause statement says Zorich’s eyes were watery and bloodshot, his speech heavily slurred and he swayed on his feet when trying to stand. 

If found guilty, this wouldn’t be Zorich’s first or even second driving while intoxicated. According to official documents, he had already been convicted of two prior DWIs – one in Clay County in 2010, and one in Platte County in 2017. 

A second DWI offense in Missouri is punishable by up to one year in jail, along with a one-year license revocation, according to the Department of Revenue. Yet, according to public records, instead of getting jail time after his second offense, Zorich was approved for a Weekend Intervention Program – a 40-hour Substance Awareness Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) about the dangers of substance abuse and driving.

A SATOP spokesperson told The Heartlander that most who complete their programs are simply given probation. 

Zorich is facing up to 15 years in prison.

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