WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A bizarre December storm Wednesday wreaked havoc across the state with high wind and blowing dust. It created problems with visibility on Kansas highways for first responders.
The Kansas Highway Patrol reported 51 non-injury crashes, 20 injury crashes, and two deadly crashes causing three deaths.
A 47-year-old woman stopped in the road was killed when she was hit from behind in Haskell County Wednesday just before 1 p.m. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol crash logs, a 2005 Peterbilt reported he did not see the 2014 GMC Terrain driven by Rocio Marieno-Sanz, 47, in the road. A passenger in Marieno-Sanz’s vehicle has suspected serious injuries. The driver of the Peterbilt was a 66-year-old man from Garden City. Marieno-Sanz was wearing a seat belt.
Two people died in Grant County on U.S. 160 after an eight-vehicle crash. Information about the crash was not available Thursday morning. However, the Kansas Highway Patrol did confirm two people were killed.
In Shawnee County, high winds lifted an empty tractor-trailer off the ground and flipped over on U.S. Highway 75. The crash happened at 5:52 p.m., according to the KHP. The 50-year-old Texas man was transported to Stormont Vail with suspected serious injuries.
In Phillips County, in northern Kansas, a 2012 Freightliner was pushed into the westbound lane of Kansas Highway 9 and turned over on the driver’s side. The 63-year-old man was transported to Phillips Hospital with minor injuries. The crash happened around 1 p.m.
A 26-year-old Indiana driver and his 55-year-old passenger escaped with only minor injuries in Nemaha County when the 2021 STO they were in was pushed by the wind off the road and flipped over. Both were wearing seatbelts. It happened around 12:30 p.m.
A 60-year-old truck driver from Independence, Missouri, was taken to Salina Regional Health Center after his 2014 International tractor-trailer was blown over on I-70 in Saline County just before 12:30 p.m.
Just before 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, a 68-year-old Missouri man was taken to Salina Regional Health Center with minor injuries after his 2018 Kenworth flipped on I-70 in Lincoln County.
In Trego County, a 62-year-old Olathe truck driver was taken to Hays Medical Center when his 2003 Freightliner was hit with “torrential” winds that blew the truck over. The crash happened just after noon.
Just after 4 p.m. in Saline County, the driver of a 2019 Freightliner was blown over and carried 50 yards, finally coming to rest in a ditch. The 73-year-old Hutchison man was wearing a seatbelt and suffered only minor injuries.
A 55-year-old Kentucky driver passing through Wabaunsee County was taken to Stormont Vail after his 2021 Peterbilt traveling west on I-70 was overturned by high winds.
A five-vehicle crash in Lane County on Kansas Highway 4 sent one person to the hospital. A 2007 Mack Truck driven by a 24-year-old Ness City man was eastbound when he collided with a 2018 Western Star Truck driven by a 41-year-old Utica man. The driver of the Mack Truck then overcorrected and crashed into a 53-year-old woman in a 2018 Ford Explorer. She was taken to Ness County Hospital. The Mack Truck then sideswiped a 2020 Peterbilt driven by a 55-year-old Plainville man, causing the Ford Explorer to hit a 2007 Volkswagen driven by a 57-year-old Kansas City man.
A crash in Gray County at 1:09 p.m. on U.S. 56 was most likely caused by blowing dust, according to the KHP. A semi was eastbound when it hit another pickup. The pickup then hit another semi. The 42-year-old pickup driver from Nebraska was taken to Western Plains Regional Hospital.
Around 11:30 a.m. in Thomas County, two semis were northbound on U.S. 83. Brown-out conditions created zero visibility and both crashed. The driver of one semi, from California, was transported to Citizens Medical Center.