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Archive for Thursday, March 24, 2005

Wrong-way I-35 crash kills 1, injures 3

March 24, 2005

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— The driver of a tractor-trailer was killed early Wednesday when the vehicle collided with another rig that was trying to make a U-turn after heading the wrong direction on Interstate 35, the Kansas Turnpike Authority said.

The crash at about 5 a.m. killed Corinne Bartels, 64, of Platteville, Wis. She died after being flown to Via Christi Medical Center-St. Francis Campus in Wichita, where passenger Jim Beals, 49, also of Platteville, was in critical condition.

The wreckage of a tractor-trailer is shown after colliding with
another tractor-trailer in the northbound lanes of Interstate 35
just south of U.S. Highway 166 in Sumner. Corinne Bartels, 64, of
Platteville, Wis., was killed in Wednesday's accident.

The wreckage of a tractor-trailer is shown after colliding with another tractor-trailer in the northbound lanes of Interstate 35 just south of U.S. Highway 166 in Sumner. Corinne Bartels, 64, of Platteville, Wis., was killed in Wednesday's accident.

A turnpike dispatcher said a tractor-trailer driven by Steven Helinsky, 39, of Wilmer, Texas, entered the northbound lane of I-35 near U.S. 166, heading south. The dispatcher said the driver, apparently realizing he was heading the wrong way, pulled to the inside shoulder of the highway and was trying to make the U-turn when his tractor-trailer was hit by the other.

Helinsky and his passenger, Terence Smith of Kerens, Texas, were taken to the Sumner County Regional Medical Center in Wellington. The dispatcher said Helinsky had eye and facial injuries, while Smith had neck and back pain.

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