The past week was frought with injury accidents, two of which ended in death.
A July 30 accident vehicle accident resulted in injury and hospitalization. On July 31, a Wellington man was killed in an industrial accident in Sedgwick County. On Aug. 2, a vehicle hit a semi resulting in a death.
An injury accident involving a semi and a sanitation truck occurred at around 2:30 p.m. July 30 on U.S. 81, resulting in one man being extricated from a fiery vehicle an flown to St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, in serious condition.
Byron Clinton Brown, 35, of Iola, the driver of the 18-wheeler Peterbilt truck, was flown to the hospital. His injuries did not rise to the level of critical and he is expected to survive.
“He’s lucky to be alive,” Chad Crittenden, public information officer with the Kansas Highway Patrol, said.
Brown was driving the truck, owned by D and N Trucking LLC out of Industry Texas, northbound on U.S. 81. A truck owned by Waste Connections of Wichita was legally parked in the southbound lane. Brown did not see the sanitation truck and struck it, according to the KHP report. Anthony Ray Armstead, 33, of Wichita, was outside the sanitation truck, a 2012 International, picking up trash when he saw the semi approaching and ran, Crittenden said. Armstead was not injured.
The semi came to rest in the northbound lane and the waste truck came to rest on its right side in the east ditch, the report said. The accident occurred .4 miles south of East 40th Avenue on U.S. 81.
The 2009 DIRE flatbed trailer the semi was towing ripped from the frame of the truck, and oil well drilling pipe came off, Crittenden said.
Wellington Fire/EMS responded to the accident. The department issued a media release, which read: “The semi cab had detached with the driver's legs trapped. A hose line was pulled and a fuel leak was stopped before extrication. Firefighters used hydraulic tools and a saw to remove the driver.”
Extensive damage and heavy metal of the semi extended the extrication time, according to Wellington Fire/EMS. Eventually the sleeper portion of the semi had to be cut away.
Sumner County Fire Dist. 9 out of Belle Plaine assisted Wellington Fire/EMS. There were 11 personnel at the scene.
The Sumner County Sheriff’s Office secured the scene of the accident. Traffic was rerouted and U.S. 81 was closed from approximately 2:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., Crittenden said.
“We didn’t have any troopers in the area when the crash came,” Crittenden said. “We sent one from Wichita. The Sumner County Sheriff’s Offices requested our presence.”
The vehicles were removed to a tow lot by Strickland Towing of Wellington.
Death at worksite
A Wellington man was killed in an industrial accident July 31 in southwest Sedgwick County.
Zachary Ritchey, 56, of Wellington, died when he became trapped by a tooling machine he was working on at Younger and Sons Manufacturing, 19223 K-42 Highway near Viola.
Emergency personnel responded to a 911 call at 2:34 p.m. By 2:40 p.m., the Sedgwick County Fire Dept. retrieved Ritchey and he was pronounced dead at the scene, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lt. Tim Meyers said.
Ritchey was employed by a maintenance contractor that was working on the machine for Younger and Sons Manufacturing, Meyers said.
“Employees at Younger and Sons used hydraulic jacks to lift the machine out from under the man,” Meyers said.
Wellington Police notified Ritchey’s family of his death.
The Sumner County Sheriff's Office, with assistance from the Kansas Highway Patrol, investigated a fatality traffic accident at 8:58 p.m., Aug. 2 in the 1800 block of East U.S. 160 Highway.
The investigation revealed a 2007 Nissan Murano was traveling eastbound at the curves east of the Arkansas River Bridge. As the vehicle drove out of the curve, it crossed the centerline of traffic and collided with a 2018 Volvo Semi Tractor trailer traveling westbound, the Sumner County Sheriff's Office reported.
"As the vehicle drove out of the curve, it crossed the centerline of traffic and collided with a 2018 Volvo Semi Tractor trailer traveling westbound," the sheriff's office reported. "The driver of the Nissan was freed from the vehicle; Winfield EMS transported him to William Newton Memorial Hospital in Winfield, Kanas. He was later pronounced deceased by medical personnel."
The driver of the semi , Steven W. Snyder, 58, was treated for minor injuries. Bryan P. Fontana, 44, Wichita, died of his injuries from the accident.