“Very concerning medical episode” led to wrong-way incident in Wabaunsee Co.

Officials have said the cause of an incident in Wabaunsee Co. was a "very concerning medical episode."
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 12:45 PM CDT
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WABAUNSEE CO., Kan. (WIBW) - Officials have said the cause of an incident in Wabaunsee Co. which ended with an attempt to get a wrong-way driver on I-70 out of traffic, was a “very concerning medical episode.”

Wabaunsee County Undersheriff Eric Kirsch tells 13 NEWS that around 4 a.m. on April 19, he was helping another driver when he heard the sounds of squealing tires. When he looked to the east, he could see vehicle headlights - which included semi-trucks - attempting to avoid a vehicle headed west in the eastbound lanes of I-70.

Undersheriff Kirsch said he successfully stopped the driver and made contact with her.

“It was very apparent the driver was not intoxicated via chemical impairment,” Kirsch said. “The driver was older and experiencing a very concerning medical episode which led to the extremely hazardous driving.”

Kirsch said an ambulance was immediately called to take the woman to a Topeka hospital for evaluation and treatment. He said the case is not criminal and wants the public to be aware fo the hazards on Kansas roadways. He said there was unusually heavy traffic on the interstate for the time of day.

“It was a miracle no one was hurt or killed and I hope the driver is doing better,” the Undersheriff noted. “I did contact her adult children out of state from the scene to inform them of what had happened and where the ambulance was taking her.”

Bodycam footage released by the Wabaunsee Co. Sheriff’s Office shows the intense scene and Kirsch’s heroic actions.

“It is our job to protect and serve, this includes risking our own safety to preserve the safety of others,” Kirsch said. “I was glad to help, my job is to help people, I love my job and have no higher purpose.”