Sedgwick County officials mulling changes at intersection after crash kills mother and four children

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SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – “It’s tragic that we lost five family members in one accident,” said David Dennis, Sedgwick County Commissioner.

Five crosses now sit at the intersection of 263rd West and 71 Street South, roughly 30 minutes southwest of Wichita. A grim reminder of the five lives lost on Friday, September 25.

“The tractor-trailer didn’t stop, it didn’t even slow down. The latest word we got was that he had his cruise control set at 55 miles an hour and went through the stop sign. So, it’s really inattentive driving that caused five fatalities,” Commissioner Dennis said.

In March of 2019, Sedgwick County made changes to an intersection eight miles down the road at 71st and 135th Street West after a crash. The county cut down trees and added rumble strips to make the intersection safer.

Now, Commissioner Dennis is working with the director of Public Works to find a solution for the two-way stop intersection from the deadly crash on Friday, September 25.

“We are going to have to take a strong look at putting some rumble strips here on 71st Street because we actually didn’t have one accident, we had two accidents Friday, and we may need a flashing light at the 48-inch stop sign,” he said.

Dennis says the county is launching a traffic safety investigation into the intersection.

“We are looking at it very closely. We are very concerned,” he said.

Commissioner Dennis says the results of the investigations should be complete in a week. From there, they can move forward and decide what action would be best.

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