The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

April 17, 2014

Patrol provides more information on Kansas accident

The Kansas Highway Patrol on Thursday released identifying information on one of the people injured in a multiple-vehicle accident Wednesday morning near Frontenac, Kan.

Kevin T. Graham, 49, of Webb City, whose identity was left unclear in an initial report, was named Thursday as the driver of a northbound truck that was knocked onto its side by a southbound tractor-truck rig at the intersection of U.S. Highways 69 and 160. Graham was taken to Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg.

A report in Thursday’s edition of the newspaper incorrectly identified the driver of the northbound truck as Douglas A. Simpson, 53, of Fort Scott, Kan. Simpson actually was the driver of one of three southbound cars that were stopped at the intersection behind a tractor-trailer rig driven by Sammy L. Stoots, 47, of Jay, Okla., when a tractor-trailer truck driven by Eric L. Christopher, 30, of Red Oak, Okla., plowed into all three of the cars from behind.

Christopher’s truck smashed a car driven by April D. Semrad, 24, of Galesburg, Kan., into the rear of Stoots’ rig before Christopher made a hard left turn and struck Graham’s truck in the oncoming lane, according to the patrol.

Semrad and her two passengers, Avery Semrad, age not available, and Trudy L. Richwine, 44, of Erie, Kan., suffered critical injuries. Avery Semrad was flown by medical helicopter to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. His mother and Richwine were taken to Freeman Hospital West in Joplin. Deanna J. Garrett, 30, of Pittsburg, Kan., an occupant of the third car hit from behind by Christopher’s rig, also was taken to Freeman Hospital West.

The drivers of the two truck rigs, Christopher and Stoots, escaped injury.

• A resident of Arma, Kan., was injured in a single-vehicle accident at 12:31 a.m. Wednesday in the 1400 block of South Broadway Street in Pittsburg, Kan., according to a Pittsburg Police Department report.

Patrick Simmons, 31, was taken to Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg after the accident, the police report said.

Simmons was a passenger in a northbound pickup truck driven by Michael Buddenhagen Jr., 21, of Pittsburg, that struck a light pole, police said.

• A Stella woman was injured in a single-vehicle accident at 2:15 p.m. Thursday on Route E, a mile south of Powell, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Catherine Mitchell, 22, was taken to Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville, Ark., the state patrol said.

Mitchell was driving a southbound car that ran off the road and into a ditch, the patrol said.

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