The rider of a motorcycle that collided with a passenger car Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of North U.S. 281 and NE 30th Road died of his injuries Wednesday, Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said.
At about 3 p.m. Tuesday, Barton County Sheriff’s Office deputies and emergency personnel responded to a reported motor vehicle accident at the intersection, he said. Reports from witnesses indicated a motorcycle and a passenger car had collided.
Upon arrival, deputies found the motorcyclist in the east ditch suffering from severe injuries.
Investigation at the scene indicated a black 2010 Mazda 3 operated by Holly Crum, 26, of Great Bend was eastbound on 30 Road approaching the intersection at U.S. 281. Crum then attempted to make a left turn to go northbound on U.S. 281, not seeing the southbound motorcycle.
Other traffic was present at the time of the collision and may have obscured Crum’s view, the sheriff said.
Crum did not have a valid Kansas driver’s license at the time of the accident.
A red 2016 Harley-Davidson motorcycle operated by Bernard Kruse, 70, of Hoisington was southbound on U.S. 281 when the Mazda turned into his lane of travel. It appears neither vehicle was able to take evasive action before collision, Bellendir said.
The Harley-Davidson struck the front left fender of the Mazda. Kruse was ejected from the motorcycle coming to rest in the west ditch. Kruse is not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision, he said.
Kruse was transported to University of Kansas Health System - Great Bend and was later flown to a Wichita area hospital. Kruse died Wednesday.
Crum and a passenger were also transported to the hospital with minor injuries. Both were treated and released.
The accident is still under investigation. Potential charges are awaiting review by the Barton County Attorney’s Office, the sheriff said.
The Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Great Bend Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services, and by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
Both roads were both blocked for approximately two hours while the Sheriff’s office investigated the accident.