SOUTH HAVEN, KS – A fatal accident occurred when a SUV tried to make a u-turn and collided with a semi tractor trailer truck. The crash happened near the Oklahoma border around 9:00 pm Wednesday night when a car with 5 people was heading south on the I-35 near the South Haven exit. Troopers say the driver missed the exit and tried to quickly make a u-turn to head the other way.
Lieutenant Phil Bostian told Eyewitness News 12 that the SUV pulled off on the right hand shoulder as if it was going to stop. The truck driver thought they were going to stop so he moved over to the left lane in order to give them some extra room.
Instead the big rig slammed into the SUV driver’s side, two people were thrown from the car and died instantly. Two others were trapped inside and couldn’t be saved. A fifth person was airlifted to a Wichita hospital and is in serious condition.
THIS IS HOW IT HAPPENED
State troopers say this is a reminder for drivers to follow the rules.
“It is illegal to make a u-turn through the barrier wall,” says Lt. Bostian. “It’s only for emergency vehicles and maintenance vehicles.”
The four people who died in the accident were:
* Driver 39-year-old Michael Minor of Sedgwick
* 27-year-old Chad Kingsley of Wichita
* 22-year-old Johnette Grimes of Wichita
* 23-year-old Lindsey Shain of Wichita.
Kingsley and Grimes were engaged and gave birth to a daughter last month. Grimes also leaves behind a two-year-old daughter.
The driver of the semi truck was not injured.
A trust fund has been set up for the children of all of the victims. Donations can be made at the First Choice Credit, located near 13th and Maize, in the name of Michael Minor.
Below is a Google street view of the southbound Kansas Turnpike (Interstate 35) just north of the Oklahoma border. You can see the opening in the concrete barrier where the driver of the SUV attempted to make a u-turn. Click and drag the mouse button and pan around the scene of the accident.
KCWH Eyewitness News 12 contributed to this story.
For more information about Kansas trucking laws, truck injury causes and victims rights, contact an experienced Kansas truck accident lawyer. For a free initial consultation, contact a nationwide truck accident attorney for the best advise possible.