Arkansas City 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.
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.