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High-speed police pursuit ends in fatal crash
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A rural Great Bend man died Saturday morning after a police pursuit ended in a head-on collision with a semi-trailer.

Kansas Highway Patrol reports Ryan L. Byers, 21, died at the scene in Rice County. The semi was driven by Scott D. Zwick, 51, of Lyons, who was taken to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.

A spokesman for the hospital said records show a 51-year-old man from Lyons was treated and released on Saturday, but was unable to verify the name at press time.

According to the KHP, Byers was driving a 2000 Chevrolet pickup and was being pursued by Great Bend Police on U.S. 56 at a high rate of speed. At 4:10 a.m., his truck crossed the center line 9 miles west of Lyons and collided with the 2007 International driven by Zwick.

According to the Great Bend Police Department, the pursuit started in Great Bend around 4 a.m., when officers attempted to stop a vehicle for reckless driving in the 900 block of Frey St. The driver attempted to elude the officers by traveling west on 10th St. (U.S. 56) at a high rate of speed, then stopped at 10th and McKinley where a passenger got out of the vehicle.

The driver reportedly attempted to ram a GBPD unit with the truck and then left the area headed east on 10th St., again traveling at a high rate of speed. Police continued the pursuit into Rice County. The truck caught fire after the collision.

Assisting agencies were the Rice County Sheriff’s Office, Rice County EMS and Fire Department, Barton County Sheriff’s Office and Ellinwood Police Department.

KHP reports Zwick was wearing a seat belt. It was not known whether Byers was wearing one.

His obituary appears elsewhere on this website.