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Two injured in US-56 rear-end collision

Wreck at Industrial Rd. near site of 1994 fatality

News editor

Two Hillsboro residents were injured when a dump truck towing a pup trailer slammed into the back of their car Tuesday morning at US-56 and Industrial Rd. in Hillsboro.

Wesley Hiebert, 68, was slowing his gray Honda CR-V to make a right turn from US-56 onto Industrial Rd. when his car was struck by a trailing International dump truck, driven by Gary Davis of Hillsboro and owned by J.L. Unruh LLC of Newton.

“The driver of the truck just said he didn’t realize the vehicle was slowing as fast as it was and he hit them,” deputy Mike Ottensmeier said.

The impact knocked the car through intersection and into the south ditch. The truck-trailer combo jackknifed, blocking both lanes of the highway, which was shut down for nearly two hours.

Hillsboro firefighters freed Hiebert and his wife Deloris, 67, a passenger in the Honda. They were taken to Hillsboro Community Hospital with possible head injuries.

Hospital CEO Marion Regier said Deloris Hiebert was transferred by ambulance to Salina Regional Health Center, and Wesley Hiebert remained at HCH.

This was the second injury accident in the past month in which a car on US-56 was struck from behind.

Tania Sorenson of Hillsboro was attempting a left turn into a driveway west of Industrial Rd. when a Jeep Grand Cherokee struck her car from behind April 25. The Jeep careened into an oncoming Chevrolet Silverado. Three people were transported to HCH with possible injuries.

At the time, Hillsboro Mayor Delores Dalke renewed a longstanding call for Kansas Department of Transportation to lower speed limits along that stretch of highway. Dalke also has advocated for turn lanes at Industrial Rd.

Two people have died in accidents just east of the Industrial Rd. intersection, both involving rear-end collisions.

In 2014, Gary Alleven of Marion was killed when the car he was driving struck a trailer towed by a semi that had just pulled onto US-56 from Santa Fe Rd.

Forty-year-old Kaye Bartel of Hillsboro died in a 1994 rear-end accident a half mile east of the Industrial Rd. and US-56 intersection. Bartel’s car had stopped on the highway to make a left turn when it was struck from behind by a pickup, and was struck by another vehicle after the initial collision pushed it into the other lane. Two adults and four children also were injured.

The driver of the pickup in the Bartel accident, Donald Stangle Sr. of Newton, was convicted of driving under the influence and involuntary manslaughter in 1995.

Last modified June 1, 2017

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