3 dead, several injured in car accidents on snowy Kansas highways

Local News

This car rammed the back of a KDOT snow plow on I-135 in Kansas on Jan. 1, 2022. (Photo courtesy of the Kansas Highway Patrol)

(KSNT) – Three people have been reported dead after suffering fatal injuries during car crashes on the first day of 2022. Snowy and icy road conditions have been blamed for the crashes which led to many other injury accidents that sent motorists to local hospitals.

The following fatal crashes were reported by the Kansas Highway Patrol via Facebook and crash logs for Jan. 1, 2022:

  • At 1:55 a.m. on I-435 in Wyandotte County a Chrysler Town & Country was traveling down the road when it rear-ended a KDOT snow plow truck at a high rate of speed. The snow plow had its warning lights on as it was treating the road. The driver of the Chrysler, Ernesto Lopez, 20, of Platte City, Missouri, died. The driver of the snow plow, a 59-year-old male, suffered minor injuries. Lopez was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.
  • At 4:01 p.m. on I-135 in McPherson County a GMC Suburban was driving on the inside lane and lost control. The GMC went off the roadway and went into a ditch where it then spun and overturned before landing right side up. Four people were inside the SUV at the time of the crash — 62-year-old Mary Hall of Wichita died. Two passengers were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. All occupants except for the driver were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
  • At 5:28 p.m. on US Route 56 near mile-marker 382.4 a GMC Yukon was traveling westbound and lost control, traveling into the south ditch. The driver attempted to correct back onto the highway and overturned. The driver of the GMC, Lesley Ann Berner, 43, of Osage City, suffered fatal injuries during the crash. She was not wearing a seat belt.

Below are non-fatality crashes that occurred on Jan. 1, 2022:

  • At 6:00 a.m. on I-135 in Sedgwick County a Cadillac SRX was traveling southbound on the I-135 ramp to eastbound Kellogg when it slid due to icy road conditions and hit a wall. The driver of the Cadillac, a 35-year-old female, was taken to the Wesley-Woodlawn hospital with minor injuries. The crash log doesn’t indicate if she was wearing a seat belt or not.
  • At 8:14 a.m. on I-70 in Shawnee County an Acura was traveling down the highway at a high rate of speed. The car spun clockwise and ended up striking the guardrail twice as it spun on the road. The 21-year-old male driver was unharmed but a 20-year-old female occupant was listed as having minor injuries. Both the driver and the other occupant were wearing seat belts.
  • At 9:45 a.m. on I-135 near the Salina/McPherson County line a vehicle rear-ended a KDOT snow plow truck. The vehicle suffered a large amount of damage and its driver was transported by EMS with non-life threatening injuries. The snow plow driver was unharmed.
  • At 10:50 a.m. on US highway 36 in Doniphan County a Chevy Impala was traveling westbound when it left the roadway to the north and spun backwards before striking several fence posts. The Chevy then went over a cement culvert and came to a rest on its wheels facing southeast. The driver of the car was transported to a local hospital.
  • At 11:30 a.m. on US Route 75 Shawnee County a Nissan Titan was traveling southbound when it hit a patch of ice and lost control. The Nissan struck a guard rail and rotated northbound in the southbound lanes against a bridge barrier wall. The driver of the Nissan was taken to Stormont Vail Hospital, he was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
  • At 4:40 p.m. on US Route 69 in Bourbon County, a Peterbilt semi-truck with two people was traveling northbound when the driver lost control of the vehicle and it left the roadway, striking a second vehicle that was parked in a driveway along with a residence. The parked vehicle, a Chevy Silverado 1500, had three people in the car. While the driver of the semi-truck was unharmed, the second occupant of the semi-truck had serious injuries and was transported to the Via Christi Hospital in Fort Scott.
  • At 5:00 p.m. on I-35 in Johnson County a Nissan Sentra was traveling northbound when it lost control and hit an emergency vehicle that was directing cars and was parked in the right lane of traffic. The driver of the Nissan was taken to the Overland Park Regional Hospital with minor injuries. He was wearing his seat belt.

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