The eyes of nearly 100 children were riveted to the sight of a Life Team helicopter taking off with a victim of a tractor accident on board on Wednesday morning. On this day, the “patient” was only part of a demonstration for Farm Safety Day Camp attendees.
Farm Safety Day Camp provided children between the ages of seven and 12 the opportunity to see how first responders react in case of an accident.
“We come out here and just kind of do a quick demo so they can see how everything works should an accident happen,” said McPherson Fire Chief Jeff Deal. “That way, it’s not the first time they’ve ever seen it and they U.S. 56 near Lyons. The car was reported to be traveling east.
“The vehicle crossed the center line and almost hit my deputy. It forced my deputy off the road,” Evans said. “The first thing that kicked into my deputy was public safety, so he kicked on the lights and sirens to make a stop.”
The car did not stop but continued east, and the deputy lost sight of it. A search was made for it within Lyons’ city limits.
Evans said five to 10 minutes after receiving a phone call from his deputy describing the car, he spotted one like it heading east through town traveling at an “accelerated” rate of speed.
“Without radar I can’t tell you (exactly) how fast the car was going,” he said.
He pursued, but also lost sight of the vehicle.
Evans then heard over the radio that Little River Police, Chief Chad Johanning, had spotted the car at 23rd Road and U.S. 56. He said Johanning initiated lights and sirens but it didn’t stop. They pursued into McPherson County when they came upon the crash. Johanning was unavailable for comment at press time.
Mindrup and Morales were killed at the scene, the crash log said. Casas was transported to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center with “significant injuries,” Kansas State Trooper Ben Gardner said. He was then taken to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, where he succumbed, according to the crash log.
“If you ask why the (vehicle) didn’t stop, I don’t know,” Evans said. “I will never know. It’s just a sad day. ... A loss of life is a loss of life and it’s just tragic.”
The Kansas Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash, Gardner said.