Turnpike Crash Near Wichita Kills One, Injures Two

WICHITA, Kan. _ One person is dead and two are critically injured after their SUV plowed into two 18-wheelers parked in a service area along the Kansas Turnpike south of Wichita.

Shortly after 11 p.m., an SUV with Oklahoma plates exited from the Turnpike into the Belle Plaine service station and hit a sign, said Kansas Highway Patrol Lt. Dave Albers.

The impact sent the SUV barreling into two semi trucks before stopping several feet away. Parts of the vehicle may have flown through the windows of the service store.

"It pretty much disintegrated on impact," Albers said.

Troopers say 27-year-old Christopher Cole of Ponca City, Okla., was pronounced dead at the scene. Cole had been riding in the back seat of the SUV.

Forty-year-old Rusty Anderson, who had been behind the wheel at the time of the crash, and 28-year-old Ellen Remy, both of Ponca City, were rushed to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.

Albers said he doesn't know if the driver was speeding as he exited into the service area, but said drug or alcohol use may have been a factor in the crash.
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(The Associated Press and KAKE.com contributed to this story


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