Family of Six Injured in Highway Crash


In Cass County, a family of six that was involved in a crash on I-49 is injured and one is killed after the at-fault driver overtook their vehicle.

On June 25, 2013 at approximately 10:25 p.m., Steven Horack, age 49 of Overland Park, Kansas was operating a 2001 Jeep. Rakesh Bhagavan, age 38 of Lake City, Florida was operating a 2010 Toyota along with passengers; Aagna Bhagavan, Hemu Bhagavan (31), Karishma Bhagavan (8), Sejal Patel (18 and of Joplin, Missouri), and Tharitri Patel (21 and of Joplin, Missouri).

At that said date and time, Steven Horack and Rakesh Bhagavan were traveling in the southbound direction on I-49 and one mile south of Route J. The collision occurred as Steven’s vehicle overtook and collided into the rear of Rakesh, causing both vehicles to travel off the right side of the roadway.

Sejal Patel was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash by Jackson County Medical Examiner, Parker, and then transported to the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office. Steven Horack received serious injuries and was transported by Harrisonville EMS to the Research Hospital. Hemu and Karishma Bhagavan were seriously injured in the collision and were transported to Research Hospital by Central Cass EMS. Tharitri Patel and Rakesh Bhagavan received minor injuries and were transported to Truman Medical Center by South Metro EMS. Aagna Bhagavan received minor injuries and was transported by South Metro EMS to the Children’s Mercy Hospital.

According to the crash report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Steven Horack was the only person involved in this crash that was wearing a seat belt.

Rakesh Bhagavan’s 2010 Toyota and Steven Horack’s 2001 Jeep both received total damages and were towed by Johnson’s Tow of Harrisonville.

This fatality crash was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and with the assistance of Troop A and the Cass County Deputies and Peculiar Police. This is Troop A’s 21st fatality crash and 22nd fatality.


The A.W. Smith Law Firm in Columbia handles auto crash and wrongful death cases all over the State of Missouri. If you have questions about how to choose a law firm that is equipped to handle your auto crash or wrongful death case, please contact us today at 573-777-3333 or visit our website at The A.W. Smith Law Firm has recovered millions in settlements and verdicts in serious injury and wrongful death cases.