2 die, 4 hospitalized after vehicles collide on rural Kan. road

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 6:38 AM CST
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STAFFORD, Kan. (WIBW) - Two people are dead and four continue to recover in the hospital after an SUV-pickup collision on a rural Kansas road.

The Kansas Highway Patrol Crash Log reports that just after 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, emergency crews were called to the area of NE 50th Ave. and NE 40th St. in Stafford Co. - about 5 miles east of St. John - with reports of a crash.

When officials arrived, they said they found a 2012 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Mark E. Hawkins, 21, of Ocean Springs, Miss., had been headed north on 50th Ave. as a 2006 Saturn Vue SUV driven by Tate J. Martin, 17, of Ellinwood, had been headed west on 40th.

KHP indicated that both vehicles entered the intersection at the same time as Martin’s SUV hit Hawkins’ pickup on the passenger side. The collision caused both vehicles to crash into the west ditch on 50th Ave. This caused the pickup to flip over, however, it came to rest upright.

The report notes that one of Hawkins’ passengers, Peter A. Laskowski, 51, of Stevens Point, Wis., was taken to Pratt Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, however, he was pronounced dead by hospital staff. Also in Hawkins’ truck, Orville R. Meade, 64, of Verona, Va., was taken to the University of Kansas Medical Center in Great Bend with suspected serious injuries. Meanwhile, Hawkins was sent to Stafford Co. Hospital with suspected minor injuries and the last passenger in his truck, Gregory L. Witt, 52, of Moneta, Va., was taken to Pratt Regional Medical Center with suspected minor injuries.

Meanwhile, the report indicates that Tate was rushed to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita where he was later pronounced dead. The passenger of his vehicle, Trace L. Ritterhouse, 17, of Ellinwood, was taken to Stafford Co. Hospital with suspected serious injuries.

KHP said no one involved in the crash had been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident.