A truck driver is comatose after he was critically injured when he lost control of his cement truck while turning off of K-18 onto the westbound I-70 ramp Tuesday morning.
Officials said Travis R. Kemph, 29, Newton, who now resides in Manhattan, was driving southbound on K-18, when he made a right-hand turn onto the Exit 303 ramp and lost control of the Midwest Concrete Materials cement truck he was driving. Lt. Greg Harkrader, of the Kansas Highway Patrol, said the truck flipped onto its side over a natural retaining wall and that Kemph became trapped within the truck. Officials from the Geary County and Junction City fire departments eventually extricated him.
Harkrader said the mixer was partially loaded with cement at the time of the crash.
Kemph was transported to Geary County Community Hospital with critical injuries and later life-flighted to Stormont-Vail in Topeka.
Family members said early Wednesday that Kemph, a K-State graduate, is still on life support. David Miller, Kemph’s cousin-in-law, said doctors performed an angioplasty and that they confirmed he has blood flow to the brain, but he said that Kemph is in a coma.
He said that Kemph’s family is setting up a trust account at Capitol Federal Savings to pay for his medical bills. Donations can be sent to: Capitol Federal Savings, Att: Travis Kemph Fund, 700 S. Kansas Ave., Topeka, KS 66603.
The 303 westbound on ramp was closed until approximately 1:30 p.m. Tuesday because of the crash. The Kansas Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate the accident with the help of the Geary County Sheriff’s Office.