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Monday, February 13, 2012

Tractor trailer involved in Gardner accident located

Posted: February 13, 2012 - 3:23am
Updated: February 13, 2012 - 11:48pm

The Kansas Highway Patrol says that the truck and it's co-drivers, involved in a serious accident last week between Gardner and Olathe on Interstate 35, have been located.

Troopers say the accident occurred shortly before 7 a.m. on Wednesday, February 8, a passenger car rear-ended a tractor trailer while northbound on I-35, near 167th Street. The car left the interstate and came to rest against a KDOT fence, seriously injuring the pregnant female driver. The truck was not at the scene when Troopers arrived and witnesses were unable to provide a detailed description of the truck. Earlier story regarding the accident.

Kansas Highway Patrol Troopers issued a news release asking for local media to assist in spreading the word that KHP would like any information regarding the tractor trailer which was involved in the accident. Tips received from the public following that news release placed the truck traveling north through Kansas into Missouri, and later placed the truck near the Missouri-Iowa state line. A second news release was made available on Thursday, explaining the path the truck followed and that the trailer possibly still had the car hood impaled in the rear protection system. A call was then received from the Des Monies area from someone who noticed the truck.

"The trucking company and drivers have been fully cooperative," said Lieutenant Tom Catania, field supervisor in Troop A for the Kansas Highway Patrol. "We don't expect any charges to be filed in this case."

Lieutenant Catania says "the trailer was fully loaded and weighed approximately 80,000 pounds at the time of the accident. It is not uncommon for occupants of vehicles of this size and weight to be unaware of a crash, if they are struck by a passenger car. Thank you so much to the media who put out the information on the vehicle we were looking for, and to all of the citizens who called us and reported what they observed. We really appreciate their assistance, and without them, we probably would not have been able to identify the truck or the driver."

The female driver has since been identified as 33-year-old Nikki McClure. She remains hospitalized and in serious condition. McClure did give birth to a baby girl Wednesday morning after being transported to an area hospital. The baby is said to be doing just fine.

McClure's family has organized a fund to help with medical expenses. McClure Family Fund care of Central National Bank at 205 N. Moonlight Road, Gardner, Kansas 66030 or 1725 E. Santa Fe Street, Gardner, Kansas 66030.


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