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Hail cited in crash that hurts 8 people east of Russell

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, April 17, 2013, at 10:53 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, April 18, 2013, at 12:37 a.m.

Authorities say hail covering a major thoroughfare is to blame for a wreck that hurt seven people, including six teens, riding in a SUV associated with a northeast Kansas high school as well as the driver of another vehicle.

All were transported to Russell Regional Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the two-vehicle crash along I-70, five miles east of Russell, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol crash report.

Among those hurt in the 2003 Suburban were six teens – all from Clifton – ranging in age from 15 to 18.

KHP said 29-year-old Laura Kay Stunkel, of Palmer, was driving east on the highway over some hail when she lost control of the SUV – a 2003 Chevy Suburban – and slid sideways across the median.

The SUV then struck the front of a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero, driven by 53-year-old Shawnee resident Melinda Smith. It tipped up onto its roof and ended its slide on the right shoulder of I-70 about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, KHP said.

The highway patrol said the suburban is associated with United School District 224 and Clifton-Clyde High School, a 2A school located in the small northeastern Kansas town of Clifton. The school has about 80 students, according to its website.

Russell, the town near the accident site, is located in Russell County about 30 miles east of Hays.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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