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Two teens die, two injured in two-vehicle accident

Alcohol not involved; no charges pending

Staff writer

Family members and friends are mourning the deaths of two area teenagers in a two-vehicle accident at a country intersection in northern Marion County.

According to Sheriff Robert Craft, the fatality accident happened about 9 p.m. July 22 at 340th and Nighthawk Roads.

A 1999 Pontiac driven by Jessica Deines, 20, Ramona, was westbound and was struck broadside by a southbound 2003 Ford pickup driven by Alex Hajek, 17, Tampa.

James Weber, 19, Ramona, and Charles Jeremiah Stang, 18, Marion, were passengers in the Pontiac.

Lifeteam helicopter flew Weber to Wesley Medical Center, Wichita. He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Stang was flown by Lifeteam to Via Christi-St. Francis Hospital in critical condition. He died Friday.

Deines and Hajek were taken by Marion County ambulance to Herington Municipal Hospital. Hajek was treated and released. Deines was transferred by Lifestar to Wesley Medical Center in serious condition.

According to investigating officer Deputy Sheriff Jim Philpott, no alcohol was involved, and no charges are pending. He reported Hajek was the only one wearing a seatbelt.

Leona Deines, grandmother of Jessica Deines, received a firsthand account of the incident. She said another vehicle with three other teenagers was a short distance behind the Pontiac, came upon the scene immediately, and summoned help.

Emergency personnel from Tampa, Ramona, and Lincolnville arrived quickly, and two medical helicopters were dispatched. Marion ambulance and rescue truck also responded.

Weber was ejected from the vehicle, exiting through the car’s rear window. Stang was a front-seat passenger and took almost a direct hit.

Deines suffered a punctured lung, a fractured collarbone, and numerous bruised ribs. Hajek fractured a neck vertebra. Both are recovering at home.

The Centre community gathered at 2 p.m. Monday at Centre High School to memorialize Weber’s life. An honors student and athlete, he graduated in May and planned to attend Kansas State University this fall.

On July 17, just six days before the accident, Ronnie and Lisa Hanschu and Weber’s sister, Anna, hosted a party for him on his 19th birthday. More than 40 people participated in the celebration.

Weber’s death is ironic in light of the miraculous recovery his mother, Lisa Hanschu, made from leukemia several years ago after being given just months to live. She rejoiced to see the day her son graduated from high school, only to have him killed two months later.

Weber was a member of Hope United Methodist Church.

Stang was homeschooled and had completed his secondary school studies. He was employed by Harms Plainview Ranch and previously worked at Carlsons’ Grocery. He was planning to attend Kansas State University to study business and finance.

Stang was active in 4-H, horse judging, missions, Marion Presbyterian Church and youth group.

Stang’s funeral was scheduled for 2 p.m. today at Eastmoor United Methodist Church.

Deines is a beautician at Manhattan Mall. Hajek will be a senior at Centre High School.

Weber’s parents are Jim Weber and Lisa Hanschu, both of Ramona. Stang’s parents are Cheryl and Jim Stang, Marion. Deines’ parents are Jeff and Gayla Deines, Ramona. Hajek’s parents are John and Carla Hajek, Tampa.

Full obituaries are published elsewhere.

Last modified July 29, 2009

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