Several people were injured Tuesday evening when two vehicles collided on U.S. Highway 59 at the Pleasant Grove curve, causing traffic to be shut down for several hours in both directions.
One of the injured, a 9-year-old boy, was taken by helicopter ambulance to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. Four other children and two adults were taken by ground ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Their conditions weren't available.
The accident occurred at 4:45 p.m. when a 1996 Dodge Caravan northbound on the highway traveled left of center on the curve and struck a southbound 1993 Mercury passenger car, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.
"On the curve, there's always a lot (of wrecks)," said Kathy Shuck, who lives near the accident scene. "It seems like people go by way too fast, passing on the wrong side."
The Caravan was driven by Maria M. Sprinkle, 41, Ottawa, the accident report said. She and a passenger, Maria Ramirez, 10, Ottawa, were taken to LMH.
The driver of the Mercury was identified as Diane Michels, 46, Baldwin. Passengers were Caleb Michels, 12, Matthew Michels, 9, Cara Michels, 6, and Faith Michels, 3, all of Baldwin. All were taken to LMH, except Matthew, who was transported to Children's Mercy Hospital.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Law enforcement officers shut down traffic on the highway up to a half-mile in both directions from the accident scene. The highway was reopened at 6:42 p.m., emergency dispatchers said.