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Fatal crash also sends 4 to hospital; road closed for more than 6 hours

By The Mercury

Two people were killed and four were injured in a pre-dawn two-vehicle accident on Fort Riley Boulevard and K-18 Monday. The accident forced closure of the road in both directions for six-and-a-half hours.

Master Trooper Ben Gardner of the Kansas Highway Patrol said the fatal accident occurred prior to 3 a.m. when a 2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 traveling eastbound in the westbound lane collided with a 2001 Buick LaSabre at mile marker 186, slightly to the east of Scenic Drive. Six occupants were in the two vehicles — two were life-flighted to area hospitals and two were transported on the ground to area hospitals.

The Associated Press reported that the two fatalities were occupants of the Buick LeSabre. The four occupants of the Silverado were reported to be KSU students. There were additional reports that KHP officials believed alcohol was a factor in the crash, although authorities said the investigation was ongoing. The names of those involved have not been released pending notification of next of kin.

The accident caused K-18 to be closed from Scenic Drive to Seth Child Road, complicating traffic flow to Fort Riley and also to destinations along the route.

Those destinations included The Manhattan Regional Airport, which has flights at 6:30 a.m. to Dallas and 7 a.m. to Chicago. Officials there reported service disruptions due to the closure.

Airport director Peter Van Kuren said some passengers were late for check-in, but no flights were missed.

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