21-year-old Lawrence resident killed in 5-vehicle crash on I-70
A 21-year-old Lawrence resident died in a multiple-vehicle accident Sunday on Interstate 70 in Leavenworth County, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol report.
The 21-year-old, Tristan Kuritz, was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze. Kuritz’s vehicle was one of five involved in the accident, which occurred shortly after 3:30 p.m. Sunday near mile marker 213, about two miles east of the Leavenworth County Road 1 exit. Multiple lanes of I-70 were closed most of Sunday evening as authorities worked the accident scene.
All five vehicles, including one bus, were westbound on I-70. According to the KHP report, four of the vehicles, including the bus, were in the right lane, and the fifth vehicle was in the left lane. As the vehicles in the right lane were slowing and stopping due to traffic, the vehicle in the rear — a Ford E45 driven by Michael Weis, 62, of Columbia, Mont. — struck Kuritz’s car, pushing it into the car in front of him, a Dodge Grand Caravan driven by Rachel Jones, 33, of Beloit; that car in turn struck the bus, driven by Roger Rodriguez, 64, of Kansas City, Kan. Meanwhile, the fifth vehicle — a Ford F250 driven by Robert Powell, 47, of St. Robert, Mo. — swerved from the left lane into the right lane to avoid hitting the vehicles involved in the crash, but it ended up striking Jones’ vehicle. The vehicle that first hit the other vehicles, precipitating the crash, then struck a barrier.
That driver, Weis, was not injured in the crash, according to the KHP.
A passenger in Kuritz’s car — Samantha Duckett, 21, of Lawrence — was taken to a hospital with a suspected minor injury. Both she and Kuritz, who died, were wearing seat belts, according to the KHP, as were all the other drivers.
Jones, the driver of the Dodge Grand Caravan, was taken to a hospital with a suspected serious injury.
Rodriguez, the bus driver, had no apparent injury, according to the KHP, and four other people on the bus had suspected minor injuries.
Powell, who had originally been driving in the left lane, had no apparent injury.