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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • UPDATE: 8 sent to hospital in pileup during storm

  • A 7-car pileup Thursday on Kansas Highway 61 resulted in eight people being sent to the hospital.
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  • A 7-car pileup Thursday on Kansas Highway 61 resulted in eight people being sent to the hospital.
    McPherson County experienced heavy rains and 92 mph winds, which resulted in almost complete blackout conditions.
    The scene was so chaotic, it took Kansas Highway Patrol officials several days to piece the facts of what happened together.
    The Sentinel obtained the official report on Monday.
    The Kansas Highway Patrol divided the pileup into two almost simultaneous chain-reaction accidents.
    Four vehicles were involved in the first accident, which occurred at 5:53 p.m. Thursday on southbound Kansas Highway 61, seven miles north of Cherokee Road at the Inman exit.
    The first vehicle, a 2007 Chevy HHR driven by Gwen Keyser, 68, of Hutchinson, was southbound. Due to extreme weather conditions, the HHR struck the rear of vehicle two, a 2003 Chevy Cavalier driven by Michelle Harms, 42, of Hutchinson. A 2005 Ford Focus, driven by Pamela Jennings of Huthinson, then struck the HHR broadside.
    Finally a 2011 Crown Victoria, a McPherson County sheriff’s vehicle, driven by deputy Anthony Elmer of Lindsborg, struck the HHR.
    Keyser was taken to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center in Hutchinson.
    Harms was taken to McPherson Hospital. Passengers, including a 4-year-old girl, a 7-year-old girl, and Crystal Shankle, 34, of Hutchinson, also were taken to McPherson Hospital. A 10-year-old girl, a passenger in Harms’ vehicle, did not report injuries.
    Jennings was taken to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center. Elmer was taken to McPherson Hospital with possible injuries.
    All parties in the accident were wearing their seat belts.
    Three vehicles were involved in the second accident, which was reported at the same time. A 2000 Chevy Cavalier, driven by Elisabeth White, 27, of Sterling, was southbound when it collided with the rear of a 2013 Chevy Equinox, driven by Sharon D. Colle, 58, of Inman. The Equinox struck the rear of 2007 Nissan Exterra, driven by Jordan A. Stiles, 20, of Buhler.
    White was taken to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center. Colle reported possible injuries but was not transported by ambulance to a hospital. Stiles reported no injuries.
    All parties in this accident were wearing their seat belts.
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