Three Hurt In Turnpike Debris Accident

By: Phil White Email
By: Phil White Email

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UPDATE: Friday, May 18, 2012

Debris on the Kansas Turnpike led to a multi-vehicle accident overnight.

It happened in near the K-15 exit just before midnight Thursday.

Kansas Highway Patrol Master Trooper J. Wallace said a semi hauling large metal equipment was heading south, when part of the load fell off. Authorities said Brian Adkins, 30, of Wichita hit the debris and got out of his SUV to inspect the damage.

A second vehicle driven by Suzanne Johnson, 63, of Shenandoah, Iowa, also struck debris in the roadway. Her van spun around, hit the SUV and struck Adkins who was standing near the road.

Both were taken to nearby hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. A passenger, James Tysor, 45, of Shenandoah, Iowa, was also transported for treatment.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Three people were hurt after a six-vehicle crash shut down the southbound lanes of the Kansas Turnpike early Friday morning.

The crash happened shortly after midnight near the Turnpike's K-15 exit.

Kansas Highway Patrol Master Trooper J. Wallace tells KAKE News a semi hauling large metal equipment was heading south, when part of the load fell off. Five other vehicles then hit the debris left in the highway.

The three people hurt in the crash were taken to Wichita hospital for treatment of potentially serious injuries. It's an accident Wallace says could have been much worse.

"If the traffic had been heavier, this would have been a much worse accident," he says. "It could've resulted in a fatality."

One of the motorists caught up in the crash was Alex Stice of Colona, Ill., who, along with a friend, was headed to visit a friend at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

"We were just coming along," Stice says. "It was a nice and quiet road and these metal structures are in the middle of the road and just kinda careened right into them."

Although their car was totaled, Stice and his friend escaped injury. Their Air Force buddy headed to Wichita soon after the accident to pick them up so they could complete their trip.

Master Trooper Wallace says it's likely the truck driver will face charges.

"It appears that he lost the load by not using proper edge protection, but it's still under investigation," Wallace says. "When you haul metal loads, you're required to put something between the strap that you use and the metal you're hauling because it has sharp edges and it will cut the strap as you go down the road."


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