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Victims of weekend crash, explosion on Kansas Turnpike identified

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, at 3:28 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, at 5:30 p.m.

Authorities have released the names of the two people killed in a crash on the Kansas Turnpike south of Wichita on Saturday.

A semi pulling a gasoline tank trailer driving north on the Turnpike struck a guardrail on a bridge about a mile north of the Belle Plaine service area at about 3:15 p.m., according to the Kansas Turnpike Authority. The semi then broke through a fence and skidded into the ditch.

It caught fire about 75 yards east of the northbound lanes, a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper said Saturday. The truck then exploded about 10 minutes later.

Troopers closed northbound lanes of the Turnpike for about two hours after the crash, fire and explosion.

Killed in the crash were Kelly Stark, 57, of Tulsa, and Jennie Smith, 54, of Wagoner, Okla., according to the turnpike authority.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com.

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