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Fatal crash reported on U.S. 56
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A passenger in a white 2006 Dodge Ram pickup died Wednesday night after the truck collided with a 2003 Ford F-250 east of Great Bend on U.S. 56. Both drivers were taken to the hospital in Great Bend.

A Hudson teenager has died and two other people were injured in a two-vehicle crash Wednesday night, approximately 1 mile east of Great Bend on U.S. 56

According to Sheriff Brian Bellendir, the crash occurred at 10:39 p.m.

A 2006 Dodge Ram pickup driven by St. John High School student Jaron Brittain, 17, of Hudson, collided with a Ford F-250 driven by Sergio Rutiaga of Liberal. Both were transported to The University of Kansas Health System Great Bend Campus with non-life-threatening injuries. Their condition was not known Thursday morning.

“A passenger in the Brittain vehicle identified as Wyatt Henkel, age 15 of Hudson, sustained fatal injuries upon impact and was pronounced dead at the scene,” Bellendir stated in a news release.

The investigation indicates the Brittain vehicle was eastbound on U.S. 56 when it crossed left of center. “The vehicle may have been attempting to pass at the time of the collision,” Bellendir said. "It appears Brittain attempted to avoid the crash by steering left toward the north ditch. The 2003 Ford, operated by Rutiaga, struck the Brittain vehicle broadside in the passenger door.”

The crash is under investigation by the Barton County Sheriff’s Office. 

Bellendir said it does not appear alcohol was a contributing factor. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by units from the Great Bend Fire Department and EMS service, the Great Bend Police Department and the Kansas Highway Patrol.