A teenage girl is fighting for her life after a quadruple fatal accident on the Kansas Turnpike. Meanwhile, investigators are still searching for why a man drove the wrong way down the road, causing the crash that killed him and three other people.
Now, skid marks are all that is left on the roadway after Monday morning's crash. Crews have cleared the debris and crumpled vehicles, but the accident has left its mark on the Kansas Turnpike, just like the lives of the victims have left a mark on the community.
Four of the people involved in the accident were riding in a mini-van, heading to Texas to visit family for spring break. Inside the van, were 39-year-old Kyoung Yeaon Chae, and her three children, 17-year-old twin girls Yuna and Hana Choi, and 9-year-old Seo Won Choi. The only person in the van to survive the crash was Hana, who remains in critical condition at Wesley Medical Center.
KAKE News has learned Yuna was in the IB program at Wichita East High School, along with her sister Hana. The girl's teachers and friends describe them as extremely involved, and extremely well-liked. The sisters were both on the swim team at East, and played violin in the orchestra. 9-year-old Seo Won attended school at Price-Harris Elementary.
But investigators have yet to release much information about the fourth victim, 27-year-old Gregory Davis, who caused the crash by driving his SUV the wrong way down the Kansas Turnpike. Authorities are still interviewing witnesses about where Davis may have been leading up to the crash.
A portion of the Turnpike, just south of the Mulvane exit where the accident happened, remained closed for more than 13 hours Monday. It opened back up around 6:30 p.m. Crews had to clean up debris from a semi, which struck the back of the mini-van after the SUV hit it head-on. The driver of the semi suffered minor injuries.
One southbound lane of the Kansas Turnpike has reopened after a three-vehicle crash that killed four people. Crews estimate both lanes will be open later this afternoon.
Two of the vehicles have been removed from the scene but the semi truck remains.
The driver of the SUV traveling the wrong direction in the southbound lane of the turnpike has been identified as 27-year-old Gregory Davis from Wichita.
The driver of the van was reportedly 39-year-old Kyoung Yeaon Chae from Wichita traveling with her 17-year-old twin daughters, Yuna Choi and Hanna Choi, and her 9-year-old son, Seo Won Choi. Only Hanna Choi survived. She is in critical condition at a Wichita hospital.
The family in the van was heading to Texas for spring break.
The driver of the semi, 37-year old Reginald Jones from South Carolina, was injured and taken to a Wichita hospital with minor injuries.
Someone reported a car leaving the Belle Plaine service area going the wrong direction. The Kansas Highway Patrol responded to the report but arrived after the accident happened.
Early reports from the Kansas Highway Patrol this morning confirm four people are dead after an accident on the Kansas Turnpike near mile marker 31 in Sumner County.
The crash happened at 4:40 this morning when a red SUV traveling northbound in the southbound lane slammed into a van head-on. The van was then struck in the rear by a semi.
The driver of the SUV was pronounced dead at the scene along with three people inside the van.
Kansas Turnpike Patrol Capt. John Walters says a teenage girl is hospitalized in critical condition. The driver of the semi suffered minor injuries and was also transported to a Wichita hospital.
Traffic going south bound on the turnpike is completely blocked off and is expected to remain that way for at least half of the day. Traffic is being diverted off of Mulvane.
North bound traffic is not being impacted by the crash.
KHP says the crash is still under investigation. None of the victims are being identified at this time.
Early reports suggest the wrong way driver of the SUV may have come from the Belle Plaine service area.
Monday, March 15, 2010
At least four people are dead this morning after a crash on the Kansas Turnpike in Sumner County.
Two other people have suffered possibly critical injuries in that crash.
It happened about 4:45 Monday morning in the south bound lanes of the Turnpike near mile marker 30.
KAKE News has a crew on the way to the scene and we will bring you more information as it becomes available.
Watch Good Morning Kansas and KAKE News at 11 for updates.