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One dead in Andover crash, vehicle fire

Andover firefighters remove a tarp from a van that caught fire after rear-ending a semi in Andover. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
Andover firefighters remove a tarp from a van that caught fire after rear-ending a semi in Andover. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The Wichita Eagle

A 59-year-old man was killed Saturday afternoon when his commercial van caught fire after striking the back of a semitrailer truck in Andover.

Brian Grunder, a master trooper with the Kansas Highway Patrol, said the Groendyke semi, which was carrying 4,400 gallons of fuel, was stopped at a red light at U.S. 54 and Yorktown, just east of Andover Road.

“For an unknown reason,” the van failed to stop, Grunder said.

No fuel from the eastbound semi leaked out, as all 4,400 gallons were in the front two compartments, away from the impact site, Grunder said.

After hitting the semi, the van caught fire, and it took Andover firefighters “quite a while to get the complete fire out,” Grunder said. Police think chemicals in the back of the truck could have played a role in fueling the fire, he said.

The man who was driving the van was pronounced dead at the scene. He has been identified by the highway patrol as Dale Carter of Augusta.

The 46-year-old driver of the semi was transported to Wesley Medical Center with minor injuries, a Butler County emergency dispatcher said. He was later discharged, a supervisor at the hospital said.

U.S. 54 was blocked off at Andover Road until the early evening.

Reach Matt Riedl at 316-268-6660 or mriedl@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RiedlMatt.

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