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Ellinwood teen killed in Stafford County crash
on the record

STAFFORD COUNTY — An Ellinwood teenager died in a pickup-SUV crash in the intersection of two rural Stafford County roads Wednesday. 

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported that emergency crews were called to the intersection of NE 50th Ave. and NE 40th St., approximately five miles east of St. John, at 2:22 p.m. Wednesday. According to the report, a 2012 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Mark E. Hawkins, 21, of Ocean Springs, Miss., was northbound on NE 50th Ave. and a 2006 Saturn Vue driven by Tate J. Martin, 17, Ellinwood, was westbound on NE 40th St.

Both vehicles entered the intersection at the same time and collided. The Saturn struck the Dodge on the passenger side. After impact, both vehicles left the roadway and entered the NE 50th Ave. west ditch. The pickup overturned and came to rest upright, while the SUV came to rest in the west ditch.

Martin was transported by EMS to Wesley Medical Center, Wichita, where he died. Trace L. Ritterhouse, 17, Ellinwood, a passenger in the Martin vehicle, was transported to Stafford County Hospital with suspected serious injury.

Hawkins was transported to Stafford County Hospital with suspected minor injury. Peter J. Laskowski, 51, Stevens Point, Wis., a passenger in the Hawkins vehicle, was transported to Pratt Regional Hospital where he died. A second passenger, Gregory L. Witt, 52, of Moneta, Va., was transported to Pratt Regional with suspected minor injury. A third passenger, Orville R. Meade, 64, of Verona, Va., was transported to the University of Kansas Health System - Great Bend Campus with suspected serious injury. 

The KHP reported none of the persons involved were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.