A Manhattan man is dead after the vehicle he was riding in crashed trying to avoid another car reportedly traveling down the wrong side of Interstate 70 during a police pursuit late Wednesday evening.
The accident occurred about half a mile west of Chestnut Street in Geary County at 10:30 p.m.
According to officials, Gary Nelson, 22, a Fort Riley soldier from Junction City, was driving a Chrysler 200 car westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-70 while being pursued by law enforcement.
To avoid a collision, officials said, a GMC Envoy swerved out of the way of Nelson’s oncoming vehicle, but lost control, left the roadway and overturned, coming to rest on its top.
Jake Black, 53, a passenger in the Envoy, was pronounced dead at Geary County Community Hospital approximately an hour after the accident.
Steven Green, 53, Manhattan, the driver of the Envoy, and another passenger, Evon Obannon, 51, Manhattan, were also taken to Geary County Community Hospital for injuries.
Officials said pursuit of Nelson began after troopers observed Nelson driving on the wrong side the interstate near Grandview Plaza.
Geary County officials on Thursday suggested Nelson was suicidal.
Nelson, who is in the custody of the Geary County Jail, was uninjured. He was arrested on possible charges of vehicular homicide, fleeing and eluding law enforcement, reckless driving and speeding. Authorities arrested Nelson, who did not stop after the crash, in Dickinson County, after the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Department closed down the eastbound lanes of I-70 at the Abilene exit.
Officials said Nelson slowed as he approached the exit, drove into the median and stopped. He was arrested without incident.