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Sunday rollover accidents revolve around wheat, deer

Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune
Bystanders check out the bottom side of a 2002 International truck while county sheriff officers gather information after 17-year-old Eva Jo Schwertfeger was eastbound on NE 110th Street and just east of NE 130th Avenue and lost control on June 28. The truck rolled on its passenger side and a load of wheat spilled into both ditches and on the road. She was not wearing a seat belt.

Within just over three hours, the county recorded two rollover accidents on Sunday June 28. One accident involved a wheat truck, the others were deer related.

The first accident was at 6:47 p.m. about a half mile east of NE 110th Street and NE 130th Avenue. Eva Jo Schwertfeger, 17, was eastbound in a 2002 International truck with a load of wheat. The wheels went off the pavement on the south side of the road and she tried to get the truck back on the pavement but lost control, said Pratt County Sheriff Sgt. Ryan Laney.

The grain shifted and the truck laid over on passenger side and slid into the north ditch, spilling the load of wheat in both ditches and on the blacktop. Pratt County EMS transported Schwertfeger, who was not wearing a seat belt, to Pratt Regional Medical Center. The truck sustained damage to the passenger side especially to the cab.

Some time after that, a deer vs vehicle accident took place on North U.S. 281.

At 10:10 p.m., 18-year-old Bryanna Beat, of Cunningham was northbound in a 2007 Ford Fusion on SE 100th Avenue and just south of SE 60th Street when she swerved to avoid a deer and went off the road on the east side, said Sheriff Deputy Phillip Snyder.

The car spun around and rolled onto the drivers side at the edge of a corn field. Beat was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident and was able to walk away from the accident. She refused transport. Bystanders were able to push the car back onto its wheels. The car started and was driven out of the ditch and later driven to a local home.

Deer accidents are a common occurrence in the county and drivers need to be vigilant especially at dawn and dusk when deer are most active, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Deer seldom travel alone and deer crossing signs are in place where accidents have happened in the past. The KDWPT advises not to swerve to avoid hitting a deer. It could result in a more serious accident if the driver hits another vehicle, goes off road and hits an obstacle or rolls over.