Three people were taken to area hospitals with non life-threatening injuries when two commercial trucks met each other head on near the intersection of U. S. Hwy 281 and NE 100 Street, Hudson Road approximately 8:30 a.m., Thursday.
According to Kansas Highway Patrol reports Robert Williamson, 55. St. John, was southbound on U.S. Hwy 281 in a Freightliner semi truck when he made a left turn onto NE 100th Street, a.k.a. Hudson Road.
Brandon Schock, 36, Bismark Wyo., was northbound on U.S. Hwy 281 in a 2012 Dodge Ram pickup pulling a PJ Trailer loaded with equipment. Schock had to veer into the southbound lane to avoid hitting Williamson. Schock's vehicle was struck by a southbound 2008 Ford F450, also puling a trailer loaded with farm irrigation equipment, driven by Joseph Gerritzen, 46, Ellinwood. The vehicle was owned by Clarke Well and Equipment, Great Bend.
Gerritzen struck Schock's vehicle on the front right side. Both vehicles ended up in the northwest (southbound) ditch.
A dense patchy fog blanketed much of the area Thursday morning. Visibility was down to 1/4 or less in many parts of the county.
Williamson told officers he could not see Schock's vehicle approaching when he started the turn, but realized he had cut him off as he finished the turn onto 100th Street. He did not realize there had been an accident behind him and he continued on to fuel dumping point located near Hudson. Williamson was driving a tanker truck owned by National Cooperative Refinery Association out of McPherson.
Schock was transported to Stafford County Hospital with unknown injuries. Gerritzen was transported by private vehicle, as was Dwight Selle, 53, Great Bend, who was a passenger in Gerritzen's truck.
"We saw the turn signal on the semi come on, and we started slowing down some," Selle said. "When we saw the other truck swing out around him we had no place to go, but hitting the back of the semi or heading into the ditch. We headed for the ditch, unfortunately so did the other truck."
Selle and Gerritzen received minor injuries in the crash. Schock had three puppies with him in the truck. Two of the three were killed in the crash. The third was taken to Countryside Veterinary Hospital in Great Bend. A spokesperson from Countryside said the dog was currently in their care.
All occupants of the vehicles were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.