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Kansas officials investigate death of foster child who died in Tulsa

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials are investigating the death of a foster child who left a residential treatment facility, stole a truck and crashed into a semitruck in Oklahoma last month.

The state Department of Children and Families confirmed it is investigating what happened to determine if there were any regulatory violations at the facility the 13-year-old walked away from on Oct. 27, according to the Kansas City Star.

The teen had gone to a Halloween party in Independence, Kansas, on the day of the crash that was sponsored by the residential treatment program where he was living. After returning from the party, the teen left the residential facility in Parsons, Kansas, and went to a car dealership and stole the truck, child welfare officials and police said.

He died two days after the crash in a Tulsa hospital.

Republican state Sen. Molly Baumgardner of Louisberg called for Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly to dismiss the head of the state child welfare agency. Baumgardner said this is the second time this year that a teen in foster care ran away and wound up dead.

“There have been ongoing concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability for the safety of our foster children,” Baumgardner said in a statement.