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KCK woman killed in turnpike crash near Wellington

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, July 2, 2014, at 2:38 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, July 2, 2014, at 8:03 p.m.

A 25-year-old Kansas City, Kan., woman was killed Wednesday when her car slammed into the back of a paint-striping crew truck on the Kansas Turnpike near Wellington.

An initial investigation indicates the woman’s car was traveling north in the inside lane when she approached and passed one of several crew trucks trailing a paint striper, only to merge back into the inside lane and strike a second truck in the slow-moving caravan, said Kansas Turnpike Authority spokeswoman Rachel Bell.

The car’s driver, identified in a KTA crash report as Urmila Sharma, was killed, Bell said. She was driving a 2011 Scion 5D, the report said.

A man driving the truck that was hit was taken to a hospital “to be checked out,” Bell said. The crew member is 52-year-old David Bowman of Wellington, according to the crash report.

The car was traveling at highway speeds, Bell said, when the crash occurred at 11:30 a.m., just north of the Wellington exit. The speed limit on the turnpike is 75 mph.

Bell said that as a safety precaution, a team of six trucks follow a vehicle tasked with painting stripes on the Kansas Turnpike. She said the paint truck typically travels at about 4 mph and the six other trucks follow at quarter-mile intervals.

In Wednesday’s case, Sharma hit the second to last truck in the caravan, Bell said.

“They are moving along in a train formation to give drivers that much warning … that they are coming on a moving crew,” Bell said.

She said officers were still working to determine all factors that led to the crash.

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

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