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April 16, 2014

Two women killed in fiery turnpike crash identified

Two women from Oklahoma who were killed in a fiery crash on the Kansas Turnpike in south Wichita have been identified, according to the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

Two women from Oklahoma who were killed in a fiery crash on the Kansas Turnpike in south Wichita have been identified, according to the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

Lori Uchiyama Milton, 38, of Blackwell, and her passenger, 33-year-old Elizabeth Goodno of Ponca City, were driving north on the turnpike at about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday when their Pontiac G6 was hit by a Ford F-150 south of the exit for 47th Street South. Milton and Goodno died at the scene.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported late Tuesday night that the driver of the Ford pickup, identified by the turnpike authority as 65-year-old Donald Fifer Jr. of Haysville, may have suffered a medical condition that left him disoriented. He was driving the wrong way, authorities said.

The pickup was driving south in the inside lane of northbound lanes when it struck the Pontiac. The Pontiac struck a guardrail and overturned. The pickup slid into the outside lane and caught fire.

Fifer was taken to a hospital for treatment. The northbound lanes of the turnpike were closed for several hours after the collision.

Preliminary reports indicate the Ford F-150 entered the turnpike at the South Wichita toll plaza on the correct ramp to go north, Kansas Turnpike Authority spokeswoman Rachel Bell said Wednesday.

While on the ramp, Fifer drove off the roadway and struck a sign. The pickup re-entered the roadway traveling south in the northbound lane and struck the Pontiac on the 55th Street Bridge, Bell said.

Authorities are still looking into the possibility of a medical condition contributing to the accident, she said.

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