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Woman killed on I-70

Officials say driver fell asleep at the wheel

By Bethany Knipp

A 31-year-old woman died Sunday afternoon on I-70 in Riley County after being struck by a vehicle while standing on the shoulder working on a tire.

The victim was identified as Samantha A. Coleman, whose home was listed as Abilene. According to the crash report from the Kansas Highway Patrol, Coleman parked her 2003 Chevy Trailblazer on the north shoulder of I-70 7 miles east of the K-177 junction shortly after 4 p.m.. Coleman’s tire tread had separated. 

Highway Patrol officials said that at 4:27 p.m., Coleman was outside the vehicle and standing in the north ditch next to it when a 2012 Ford pickup, driven by Daniel N. Nitchman, 38, of St. Robert, Mo., struck her.

They said Nitchman had fallen asleep at the wheel and drifted off the road. Coleman was pronounced dead less than an hour after the accident.

Authorities said details about why the driver fell asleep and whether there are pending charges are not available because the case is an open investigation.

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