GEARY COUNTY, Kan. (WIBW) -- Officials say icy conditions are to blame for a deadly crash on Interstate 70 Thursday that claimed the life of a Manhattan man just days before Christmas.
Around 2:30 PM, a two car collision occurred on the eastbound side of I-70, near Exit 299 in Grandview Plaza.
According to authorities, 26-year-old Jason Harper of Manhattan was eastbound in 2001 Chevy passenger car when he lost control of the vehicle due to ice and snow on the roadway and slammed into the rear of a KDOT plow truck that was parked on the shoulder.
Troopers say the driver of the plow truck was getting his equipment ready to apply brine to that particular part of I-70 where some slippery spots remained after the recent snow storm. That section does not get a great deal of sunlight, officials said.
Troopers tell WIBW that the brunt of the impact was on the driver's side door, calling the collision a "fluke." Authorities who responded to the crash site say a portion of Harper's car was wedged underneath the back of the dump truck.
Crews had to use the Jaws of Life to remove Harper from the wreckage. He succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.
His wife, Jillian Davidson, 25, the passenger, was injured, according to officials. She was taken to Geary Community Hospital in Junction City for treatment. There's no word on her condition or the nature of her injuries.
The couple's black Labrador was in the back seat traveling with them and was not injured in the crash.
A responding member of the Geary County Sheriff’s Department hooked a leash to the dog and got the scared pet out of the mangled car, placing him in the back of a patrol vehicle to stay safe and warm.
The crash is under investigation by the Kansas Highway Patrol.
The driver of the plow truck, Jared Beary, 31, of White City, was not injured in the accident.
According to the crash log for the Kansas Highway Patrol, Harper and his wife were both wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash.