Multiple accidents result in injuries and one fatality

By David Dinell
Derby Informer – August 15, 2018

Photo by David Dinell

Area first responders were kept busy on the morning of Aug. 8.

At about 5 a.m., at K-15 and 47th Street South, a two-vehicle collision resulted in the death of Merrill Atkins, 81, of Derby. A driver was headed east on 47th Street when a northbound vehicle driven by Atkins struck it. The driver of the eastbound vehicle was injured, but not critically. A passenger in Atkins’ vehicle was seriously hurt. Atkins was taken to Wesley Medical Center where he passed away at 10 a.m, according to the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.

At about 10:15, there was another collision, also involving a vehicle on K-15 and also at an intersection. This one was at Baltimore/K-15 and Madison in Derby and resulted in an SUV being flipped on its side.

Two people were taken by county EMS to the hospital for further treatment. One woman was described as having critical injuries at the time. No update was available on her condition.

Several people working nearby responded to the scene and helped, along with first responders.

Derby fire responded and treated the victims until they could be transported.

Jean Garinger, who owns and operates an American Family Insurance office at the northwest corner of the intersection, said she heard the crash and came out to see what she could do to help. She fetched a chair from a nearby business for one of the injured individuals.

There was no immediate word as to its cause and police continue their investigation. “It’s going to take some time to piece this together,” says Police Chief Robert Lee.

Police are interviewing witnesses who have some video.

“We’re still investigating the accident and reviewing video,” he said. The video has been “helpful,” he said.

Lee said there was a driving violation and the police have a pretty good idea who is at fault, but are not able to state that right now.

A few bystanders at the scene pointed out equipment on the traffic signal arms, but Lee said those are motion sensors that change the lights, not cameras.

Some bigger cities have video cameras at intersections, but Derby officials haven’t believed in the need for them at this time, he said.

The intersection remained blocked for a good part of the late morning as officials investigated and cleaned up the scene.

About an hour after that incident, there was another accident on Rock Road, just north of DHS. There were no serious injuries in that incident in which one vehicle rear-ended another. Derby Fire responded to it. Since most of the other officers were tied up, Derby’s assistant police chief, Brandon Russell, worked on it until other help could arrive.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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