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Unbuckled drivers, occupants die in Kansas collisions

Summer holidays have tourists and residents in Kansas and around the country taking in new sights and visiting loved ones. More road congestion equals a greater number of negligent drivers and auto accidents. Authorities recorded several fatal car accidents during the Fourth of July holiday.

A 10-year-old died in a single-vehicle rollover in Stanton County. The out-of-state boy was not restrained in a seat belt when the car flipped on U.S. 160. Four others were also hurt.

Butler County authorities investigated another fatal crash near Andover. A 16-year-old driver lost her life when her vehicle was broadsided by a Dodge van. Investigators believe the inexperienced driver ran a stop sign.

The teen was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. She had not been wearing a seat belt. The van driver and passenger, an elderly couple from Wichita, were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Another crash in Sumner County killed a 30-year-old Oxford man. Kansas Highway Patrol reported that the midday accident on U.S. 160 was a head-on crash involving a Jeep and a tractor trailer.

The man who died apparently had driven across the highway's center line more than once before colliding head-on with the truck. The 50-year-old Wichita truck driver told police he unsuccessfully attempted to steer out of the Jeep's path.

Negligent driving can occur on many levels. All occupants of the one-vehicle rollover survived, except the boy who was not restrained in a seat belt.

A teenage driver made a common mistake. Perhaps the driver was unfamiliar with the road or distracted at the time she ran the stop sign. The young driver's attention could have been diverted for only a few, fatal seconds, just long enough to crash and severely injure two elderly people.

The tractor trailer accident might have been avoided if the Jeep driver had been more focused. The price for carelessness was the driver's life.

Source: cjonline.com, "Two killed Wednesday in traffic accidents," Phil Anderson, July 5, 2012

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