Three people killed in a truck collision in Kansas
WELLSFORD – November 15, 2018
A true tragedy occurred in Kansas yesterday as three people were killed in a head-on collision involving two trucks, one of which was empty, and the other full of pork products. Both trucks caught on fire, leaving almost no chances for their drivers and passengers to survive. The accident occurred in the southwest part of the state, local media reports.
The wreck occurred at about 7 a.m. local time, not far from the small town of Wellsford, which is on US-54 Highway, about a mile west of the Pratt and Kiowa county lines.
According to the crash log of the highway patrol, a semi driven by Gary Allan Heald, 55, of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, was westbound on US-54 when it crossed the center line and collided with the other semi, driven by Justin Wise, 38, a resident of Arkansas City. Cheryl Marie Thoma, 56, also of Fergus Falls, was a passenger in the semi driven by Heald. The passengers allegedly were not wearing their seatbelts, to their detriment.
As there is no proper medical facility in Wellsford, the victims were taken to Western Plains Hospital in Dodge City, where they died shortly after.
According to the latest data available (as of 2016) and provided by Kansas Department of Transportation statistics, 429 people were killed and 18,406 were hurt two years ago in total on state roads and highways of Kansas. The most common types of crashes were one-vehicle accidents (26,254), collisions with deer (10,150) and crashes with fixed objects (9,558). Truck accidents occupied the sixth place in this list two years ago, with 3,195 total—a serious issue for this quiet and rural state.