Semis crash during grass fire on I-70

Salina Journal – April 22, 2014

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No one was seriously injured Monday afternoon when a semitrailer struck the rear of another semi on Interstate Highway 70 as heavy smoky from a large grass fire reduced visibility.
Sheriff Glen Kochanowski said an eastbound semi driven by Gary Kats, 64, of Norton, which was carrying hay bales, ran into the back of a semi driven by Pharmender Singh, 48, of Mississippi, at 3:45 p.m. Monday about 15 miles west of Salina. Singh’s trailer was empty, Kochanowski said. Neither driver was seriously injured in the crash.

The grass fire, which might have been caused by a passing train near Glendale, began about 3:15 p.m. and quickly spread along a 5-mile stretch of I-70, producing heavy smoke that made it difficult for drivers to see. The smoke was listed as contributing to this crash as well as another on the highway involving five vehicles. Both eastbound and westbound lanes of I-70 in the area were closed for about an hour beginning about 4 p.m. The fire was contained at about 6:20 p.m.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster