Fatal crashes in rural Sedgwick County on the rise compared to last year


It is a tragedy that officials say they are seeing more and more — a crash in rural Sedgwick County leaving one person dead.

It happened early this morning near Rose Hill. Officials say the crash happened because one car did not stop at a stop sign.

A sheriff’s sergeant says he’s responded to many deadly crashes in his career, and it’s frustrating and sad to see these tragedies.

With the number of fatalities from crashes way up over last year, they’ve been busy studying what causes them. Sergeant Justin Crafton says, he’s seen it all on the roads.

“Speed, DUI, occupant restraint, failing to yield at traffic control devices,” explained Sgt. Justin Crafton with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.

He says they’re the four major causes of accidents in rural Sedgwick County this year. And they are habits he and his team are working to stop.

“For the next several months we got areas mapped out,” said Sgt. Crafton.

K-15 and most recently MacArthur are two roadways they’ve ran special enforcements on with the help of other agencies.

“We will write citations if necessary,” explained Sgt. Crafton. “To educate the public.”

He says drivers failing to yield at signs and lights is a major problem on roadways. And authorities believe it’s the cause of the crash on MacArthur that killed two people earlier this month, and Thursday’s deadly accident.

“This is one of the spots where we frequently see people failing to yield at red lights,” said Sgt. Crafton.

They have become areas among others that deputies are paying close attention to.

If you look at the numbers, this year, 26 people died in traffic accidents in rural Sedgwick County, with seven of those in just the last two months.

That’s a jump from the 16 deadly accidents last year. They are numbers Sergeant Crafton hopes can come down.

“Especially when you have to give notifications to the family who has lost a loved one, there really is no easy way to describe it,” said Sgt. Crafton. 

He says it’s also important to be an alert driver because you can’t assume people will follow rules of the road.

The sheriff’s office has not yet identified the victim in this morning’s crash.

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