GALENA, Kan. — The Kansas Highway Patrol said Wednesday that law enforcement officials are still working to notify family members of two cyclists from Germany who were killed earlier this week while biking on historic Route 66.

“I cannot give any names out,” said trooper Tyler Alley, the incident's primary investigator from the highway patrol. “(Contact with) the next of kin has not been made yet since they are from out of the country. It’s going to take a while for that. I’m in contact with the German consulate out of Kansas City.”

The traffic crash occurred at about 11:05 a.m. Tuesday at the 1.8 mile marker on Kansas Highway 66, about a mile and a half west of Galena in Cherokee County. The highway patrol said the cyclists were westbound in the right lane when they were struck from behind by a white minivan, also traveling west in the right lane. The crash was not a hit and run, Alley said.

“They were not on the shoulder, which by Kansas statute, they are allowed to ride in the lane of travel,” he said.

The cyclists were pronounced dead at the scene; autopsies are scheduled with Frontier Forensics Midwest of Kansas City. The highway patrol said Wednesday that it didn't yet know why the cyclists were in Southeast Kansas, or whether they were part of a group.

The Kansas Department of Transportation closed both lanes of westbound traffic for several hours. Officials from Chanute and Kansas City assisted with the incident, Alley said.

The crash remains under investigation by the Kansas Highway Patrol.

News reporter

Kimberly Barker is a news reporter for The Globe who covers Northeast Oklahoma, Southeast Kansas, as well as Carl Junction and Webb City.

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