Head-on crash on K-96 near Nickerson kills Arkansas man

An Arkansas man is dead after he crashed head-on with a semitruck on K-96 near Nickerson, authorities say.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reports Michael Robert Benert, 22, of Baxter, Ark., was driving a 2002 Kia southbound on the highway when he veered into the truck shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday. The driver of the semi — identified in the report as 57-year-old Kevin J. Clapp of Lincoln, Neb. — was northbound on K-96 when Benert crossed over the center line into his path, causing the fiery collision.

It is not known what caused Benert to swerve, according to an accident report. He died at the scene.

Neither man was wearing a seat belt when the crash occurred, the highway patrol said.

Clapp, who was hauling grain, suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Reno County Sheriff Randy Henderson said Thursday. He was taken to Hutchinson Hospital for treatment.

K-96 was closed from Riverton to Nickerson for hours Thursday afternoon while authorities worked the scene. The accident happened about a half-mile southeast of 82nd Avenue, south of Nickerson.