Icy conditions throughout the state Friday, Dec. 16 led to several highway crashes. For those who had to travel that day, caution and patience were required. Conditions required slower speeds than posted limits. The vast majority of accidents involved drivers losing control of their vehicles while crossing bridges. Eastbound I-70 was closed from around noon until 2:18 p.m. so responders could clear accidents and treatments could be applied to the roadway help prevent further accidents. Two fatality accidents occurred, one in Johnson County, and one in Sedgewick County. In both instances, the fatalities were not wearing safety restraints.
Sterling Franzwa, 17, of Shawnee was travelling in his 2001 Ford F150 northbound on K7 and lost control of his vehicle and entered the median and rolled several times. The vehicle came to rest in the southbound lanes on the passenger side. The fatal crash occurred at 11:43 p.m.
Sengaroun Phombounmy, 54, of Wichita was travelling in his 2002 Nissan TK northbound on I-135 at 21st St., when he lost control on the icy bridge and left the roadway on the right side and started to roll. The vehicle rolled approximately four times and came to rest in the east ditch. Phombounmy was ejected and came to rest on the entrance ramp to 21st. Street. The accident occurred at 4:45 a.m., and he was transported to Wesley Medical Center. He died at 5:12 p.m.
Here’s a round-up of the other weather related accidents on Kansas highways Friday:
In central Kansas, fog, and icy conditions led to three injury accidents.
A crash involving one vehicle occurred at 12:25 p.m. in Pawnee county at U56 176.7 or 5 miles west of Larned. Rex D. Usher, 56, of Hartley, Texas, was taken to Pawnee Valley Community Hospital with injuries after his 2013 Ford pickup, traveling eastbound on U56, crossed the center line for an undetermined reason, entered the north ditch and hit a tree. The pickup was pulling a homemade trailer. Usher was wearing a seatbelt.
A crash involving two vehicles occurred at 11:20 a.m. in Edwards county at U183 and P Road, four miles south of Kinsley on U183. Luis Noriega-Reyes, 27, of Dodge City was driving his 1983 Kenworth Semi, pulling a 1982 Wilson trailer southbound from P Rd. onto U183 when foggy conditions cased him to fail to see Weston Schuette, 23, of Kinsley. Schuette hit Noriega-Reyes on the side of the trailer. Schuette, who was not wearing a safety restraint, was injured and transported to Edward county Hospital. Noriega-Reyes was not injured.
A two-vehicle crash occurred at 6:05 a.m. in Saline county at I-70 252 Westbound, 1/4 mile east of 9th St. Kyle D. Lorson, 30, of Salina was driving westbound in his 2004 Chevy Silverado when he lost control on the bridge due to icy conditions. The Silverado slid across the median hitting the guardrail and causing the truck to roll across eastbound lanes striking a 2010 Mercury Milan driven by Stephanie J. Schmeck, 47, of Salina traveling eastbound. Lorson was transported to Salina Regional Health Center with injuries. Schmeck was not injured. Both drivers were wearing safety restraints.
Icy conditions were already starting to challenge drivers in the wee hours of Wichita’s Friday commute.
A two-vehicle crash occurred at 4:10 p.m. at the K96 Eastbound Ramp to Rock Rd. Jose Velasquez, 63, of Wichita was exiting to Rock Rd. in his 2002 Dodge Dakota when he saw Douglas J. Hanley, 68, slowing down his 2007 GMC Denali due to traffic ahead. The Dakota was unable to stop prior to striking the rear of the Denali. Velasquez reported the road was slick. While neither driver sustained injuries, there were two passengers in the Denali. Lula M. Hanley, 67, of Wichita was transported to St. Francis hospital with possible injuries. Tiarra Lahae Hanley, 21, of Wichita was not injured. All occupants of both vehicles were wearing safety restraints.
A one-vehicle crash occurred at 5:25 a.m. at I-135, one mile north of 77th Street in Park City. Candace A. Storey, 46, of Sedgewick was traveling northbound in a 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 on I-135 when she lost control on the icy covered bridge. She slid into the median and rolled. She was taken to St. Francis hospital with possible injuries. She was wearing a safety restraint.
A succession of three one-vehicle accidents occurred within minutes of each other at the junction of K254 and I-135 around 6:30 a.m.
At 6:30 a.m., Joseph D. Jones, 16, of Valley Center was driving eastbound on K254 in his 2000 Ford Taurus when he lost control on the bridge. The Taurus went off the roadway to the right and overturned. Jones was transported to St. Francis Hospital with injuries. He was wearing a safety restraint.
At 06:35 a.m., Stacy L. Moore, 48, of St. Francis was traveling in her 1999 Chevrolet Classic 1500 eastbound on K254 when she lost control on the bridge. The Jeep entered the median and rolled. Moore was transported to St. Francis Hospital with injuries. She was wearing a safety restraint.
At 6:38 a.m., Louis J. Brouillard, Jr., 49, of Park City was driving a 2001 Ford F150, and noticing a previous crash, began to brake as he exited the interstate. The F150 hit a patch of ice and lost control, rolling into the median. Brouillard was transported to an unknown hospital in a personal vehicle with possible injuries. He was wearing a safety restraint.
And by late morning, ice was still a factor on I-135.
A two-vehicle crash occurred at 11:35 p.m. at I-135 southbound in central Wichita. Jordan E. Thornton, 30, of Wichita was driving a 2002 Ford Windstar van in the southbound left lane. Sheila A. McCullough, 54, of Goddard, was driving in the right lane in a 2017 Jeep Cherokee SUV when the van lost control and struck the outside wall, and then struck the SUV, which then struck the inside wall. Thornton was injured and she was transported to Wesley Medical Center. McCullough was not injured. Both drivers were wearing safety restraints.
The stretch of I-70 between Wakeeney and Goodland was particularly treacherous Friday, with several vehicles sliding off the roadway into the ditches. While these were the only accidents officially listed on the Kansas Highway Patrol crash log for Friday, this reporter witnessed several other disabled vehicles, as well as an accident that occurred just east of Goodland involving a young man in a Jeep Cherokee who was heading eastbound when he hit a patch of ice and slid off the road, into a ditch and rolled his car an unknown number of times before it came to a rest on its wheels facing west. Emergency responders stopped minutes later, and this reporter continued home to Great Bend.
A one-vehicle crash occurred at 10:44 a.m. in Gove county at I-70, half a mile east of Greenfield. Carl Larson, 78, of St. Francis was traveling eastbound in his 2004 Ford Escape wen he slid off the roadway into the median and rolled once. The Escape came to rest on its wheels. Larson was transported to Quinter Hospital with injuries. He was wearing a safety restraint.
A one-vehicle crash occurred at 10:20 a.m. in Thomas county at I-70 eastbound about nine miles east of Colby. Samantha Critchfield, 25, of Colby was driving eastbound in a 2001 GMC Yukon when she lost control, and during an attempt to return to the roadway, rolled the vehicle an unknown number of times in the median. The Yukon came to a rest on the passenger side facing south. There were a total of six occupants in the vehicle. Critchfield, and Carrie Louise Rasmussen, 63, of Colby were injured and transported to Colby Citizen Hospital. Stephanie Brynn Griffith, 28, Kaden Critchfield, 3, Eldean L. Griffith, 54, and Kale Critchfield, 5, all of Colby were not injured. All occupants of the vehicle were wearing safety restraints.
A two-vehicle crash occurred at 11:15 a.m. in Thomas county at I-70, 3.6 miles west of U-83. Sean D. Fields, 44, of Pleasant Valley, Mo., was driving a 2015 Frieghtliner Semi eastbound in the driving lane and was slowing down due to adverse weather, icy road conditions and a crash up ahead. Hasan B. Ashurov, 41, of Cincinatti, Ohio, was driving behind him in a 2014 Volvo Semi in the passing line. Ashurov lost control and attempted to regain control. He made an evasive maneuver and the trailer swung which struck Fields’ trailer. Fields was injured and transported to Logan County Hospital. Ashurov was not injured. Both drivers were wearing safety restraints.
A two-vehicle crash occurred at 11:16 a.m. in Thomas county at I-70, 3.6 miles west of U83. Jason L. Parsons, 33, of Northglenn, Colo., was driving a 2016 Peterbuilt Semi, and stopped in the eastbound driving lane due to an accident. Eric P. Tabaka, 28, of Manhattan was following in his 2006 BMW X5 Series, and rear ended the semi trailer, coming to rest partially under the trailer. While Parsons was not injured, Tabaka was transported to Logan County Hospital. Both drivers were wearing safety restraints.
A crash involving two vehicles occurred at 13:47 p.m. in Logan county at U83, eight miles south of Oakley. Felipe Juntino Galavan, 49, of Commerce City, Colo., six other passengers, all of Commerce City, Colo., were traveling in the 2002 GMC, hauling a trailer, when it slid off the road and rolled several times after attempting to pass another vehicle. Galavan, along with Christopher Galavan, 10, Jonathan Galavan, 13, Edgar Galavan, 15, Itzel Galavan, 3, and Marcela Galavan, 39, were not injured. Brandon Galavan, 9, and Alan Galavan, 13, were injured, and transported to Logan County Hospital. All occupants were wearing seatbelts. The second vehicle was not involved in the crash.
South Western Kansas
A one-vehicle crash occurred at 8 a.m. in Finney county at Cherry Street, 1/4 mile south of U50. Naima M. Hassan, 28, of Garden City was driving in her 2012 Ford Fusion and was reportedly travelling too fast for conditions westbound on Cherry street when, upon reaching the intersection of Cherry Street and Business 83, she failed to stop at the stop sign, traveled through the intersection, ran off the right side of the road on Business 83 and went through the ditch, landing in a field. She was transported to St. Catherine’s Hospital with injuries. She was wearing a safety restraint.
A one-vehicle crash occurred at 8:15 a.m. in Crawford county half a mile east of Pittsburg on East 530th Ave. Kylie Nichole Creitz, 29, of Girard was driving her 2003 Jeep Liberty westbound when she slid on ice on the bridge. The Jeep rotated clockwise on the bridge and entered the ditch overturning and coming to rest on its top. Creitz was transported to Via Christi Hospital with injuries. She was wearing a safety restraint.
A one-vehicle crash occurred at 10:59 a.m. in Brown county at U73, just north of 160th Rd. Jamaica Corine Seymore, 35, of Atchison was driving in her 2003 Honda Accord when she left the roadway and traveled down a small embankment and overturned. The Accord came to rest on its wheels facing north in the ditch. Seymore was transported to Horton Hospital with injuries. She was wearing a safety restraint.