A 25-year-old man sustained critical injuries to his head and leg after he hit a utility pole in a one-car traffic accident on South Seneca on Friday afternoon.
Wichita police Sgt. Steve Yarberry said the man was driving his Toyota Echo northbound on Seneca near Stillwell when the car drifted into the southbound lanes and smashed head-on into a telephone pole.
A sheriff’s deputy rolled up on the accident and found the man unresponsive and pinned in the car shortly before 3 p.m., a Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor said. Officers on scene also found a 2- to 3-foot-long lizard or alligator in the passenger seat of the car, authorities confirmed.
Authorities contacted animal control to handle the reptile. Yarberry said it’s unclear whether the driver owns the animal.
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The man was taken to Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis to treat facial injuries, a broken leg and other possible head injuries, Sedgwick County Emergency Medical Services Capt. Tim MacDonald said.
Late Friday afternoon, police were still unsure what caused the collision, but said the man was awake.
“We’ve talked to him at the hospital, and he doesn’t remember the accident,” Yarberry said.
Authorities blocked southbound lanes on Seneca near the crash, located south of McCormick, until officers cleared the site.