Update 7:52PM, KAKE, kake.com
The Ulysses police chief confirms that four high school students were killed Thursday afternoon after a car was struck by an 18-wheeler at the intersection of Highway 160 and Stubbs Rd. A fifth girl was airlifted in critical condition to a hospital in Amarillo, TX.
The accident happened three minutes before noon, according to the chief. Ulysses High School has an open lunch policy.
The Ford Taurus was carrying five high school aged females, according to the chief. The driver of the car stopped at the intersection, but then proceeded across the highway into the path of the semi.
He says the car was struck on the passenger side and spun around into a ditch. The semi appeared to have been eastbound.
"They were very typical high school sophomore girls," says Ulysses High School Principal Rodger Hilton. "They were full of life and vitality. Two of them were on the softball team and another was a cheerleader."
Thursday's girls softball game was canceled and a prayer vigil was planned at a local church. Meanwhile, Hilton says school will resume on Friday with grief counselors on hand.
"The best advise is for parents to encourage their kids to return to normal activities as quickly as possible," Hilton says. "That includes returning to school tomorrow. It's going to be toughest day, but each day after will get better and better."
Ulysses is a town of about 5,600 people about 60 miles west of Dodge City.
Update: 4:55PM- KWCH, Chris Durden, kwch.com
The principal of Ulysses High School calls it a tragic loss. Four students from the school died in a car crash Thursday afternoon. A fifth teen was hurt.
The Kansas Highway Patrol says a girls' car pulled in front of a semi on U.S. 160 around noon. Police say the semi hit the passenger side and pushed the car into a ditch on the east side of town.
Three of the girls died at the scene. The fourth died while being airlifted to a Wichita hospital.
The names of the victims have not been released. However, Principal Roger Hilston tells Eyewitness News that two fo the girls were on the softball team.
Hilton says the outpouring of support from the community and surrounding schools has been overwhelming. Grief counselors were on campus today to talk with students and faculty. We're told they will be back tomorrow.
Update 4:25 AP Wire
Four high school girls from Ulysses are dead and one is injured after their car was hit by a semitrailer Thursday.
The Highway Patrol says the girls' car pulled in front of a semi
that was eastbound on U.S. Highway 160. The car was hit on the
passenger side and came to rest in a ditch.
Three of the girls died at the scene and another died while
being flown to a hospital.
The accident happened just before noon, on the east edge of
The girls names haven't been released, and the condition of the
survivor is unknown.