Fiery crash in Barton County leaves man dead

Local

BARTON COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — A crash in Barton County has left a man dead.

According to the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded on Thursday, Jan. 14 around 12:20 p.m. to a truck crash at the intersection of Northeast 130 Avenue and NE 70th Road.

Deputies found the trucks on the roadway completely engulfed in flames and were advised that the driver of one of the trucks was still in the cab.

An investigation indicated that 36-year-old Eric Steinert, of Russell, was driving a 2005 Mack truck configured as a water hauler, which was full, southbound on Northeast 130 Avenue.

The other truck, a 1995 Peterbilt truck tractor with a flatbed semi-trailer hauling a Kenworth truck tractor, was driven by 66-year-old David Wirth. He was approaching the intersection westbound.

According to the sheriff’s office, an investigation revealed that Wirth failed to yield right of way at the intersection, and pulled into the pathway of Steinert. The trucks collided and traveled in a southwesterly direction. The trucks came to a rest in the west side ditch.

The Kenworth truck that was loaded on Wirth’s truck broke free and came to a rest on the roadway. The tank on Steinert’s truck was torn from its mounts and also came to a rest on the roadway.

(Courtesy: Barton County Sheriff’s Office)

The BCSO says shortly after the initial impact, all three trucks caught fire. The fire traveled down the ditch on both sides of the roadway and set fire to two fields and multiple round bales of hale, that were approximately one-quarter of a mile away.

The Claflin Fire Department was able to quickly bring the blaze under control, according to the BCSO.

Steinert was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wirth was taken to Great Bend regional hospital by Claflin EMS with non-life-threatening injures and was treated and released.

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