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Winter traffic accidents reported
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The winter storm that began last week contributed to several accidents in central Kansas, including a fatality Sunday in Pratt County. Kansas Highway Patrol also worked one injury accident last Friday in Ellsworth County, and one Sunday in Rush County.

Lazaro Antonio Garcia, 43, of Emporia, died when the pickup he was in went out of control on any icy Pratt County road some time Sunday afternoon. The KHP reports the driver — whose identity was unknown Monday afternoon — was on NE 110th Ave., approached a tree line and attempted to slow down, but the pickup entered the field and rolled three times. Garcia was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Ellsworth County accident occurred just before 2 p.m. Friday on K-156, approximately six miles west of Holyrood. A Chevrolet S-10 pickup driven by Joanna Beth Baker, 29, of Gladstone, Mo., went out of control on the snow-packed road and slid into the ditch, where it overturned one-half time. The driver and passenger Christopher M. Gallup, 28, from Blue Springs, Mo., were taken to Great Bend Regional Hospital.

The KHP report on Sunday’s accident in Rush County does not mention the weather, but it occurred at 10:45 a.m. when a Dodge Caravan driven by Larry Lee Pierson, 67, of Ness City, went into the ditch six miles west of Rush Center on K-96. The vehicle continued until it struck an embankment, crossed the road and went into the other ditch. Pierson was taken to Hays Medical Center.

There were also several collisions and vehicles in ditches in Barton County, but any injuries appear to have been minor, even when vehicles overturned, Sheriff Greg Armstrong said Monday. "There’s been a lot of slide-offs." But with bitter cold temperatures and the New Year’s holiday, he said, "I feel we were fairly lucky."

Weather is believed to have been a factor in some or all of the following accidents, reported by the BCSO.

A vehicle hit the back of a road grader on NE 30 Road at the Frey St. extension at 9:55 a.m. Friday. Kansas Highway Patrol responded.

The sheriff’s office log shows a one-vehicle accident in the 300 block of South U.S. 281 was reported at 10:40 a.m. Friday. Great Bend Ambulance and the Kansas Highway Patrol responded. The driver received a bloody nose.

A Chevy 1500 slid on the icy NE 130 Ave. at NE 120 Road at 4 p.m. Friday and rolled onto its top. No one was injured in that accident, and no one was injured when a Ford truck, traveling east on NE 20 Road at 7:14 p.m. Friday, went out of control on the snow-packed road, entered the ditch and tipped onto its passenger side.

A car slid onto a ditch in the 100 block of NW 10 Ave. around 9 p.m. Friday, but was not damaged. It was to be pulled out the following morning.

A mailbox and newspaper box were damaged at 4600 Railroad Ave., it was reported Saturday afternoon. There was no vehicle at the scene, but tracks showed one had slid off the road.

The Great Bend Police Department also reported two weather related accidents over the weekend:

Li Fen Chen was driving east on Great Bend’s Broadway Ave. at 4:06 p.m. Saturday, when the vehicle slid on the ice and struck a vehicle driven by Chasity Chaney, which was stopped at a light facing north on Williams St.

Mary J. Leshore was westbound on 12th St. at 2:15 p.m. Sunday and her vehicle slid out of control, striking a pole.