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Driver in deadly Barton County crash was distracted by her phone, KHP says

Distracted driving PSA: ‘Famous Last Words’

In 2015, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. If you text and drive, your next message may be your last.
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In 2015, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. If you text and drive, your next message may be your last.

The driver in a Barton County crash that killed a California woman Friday afternoon was distracted by her phone, state troopers said.

Emergency crews were called at around 5:21 p.m. Friday to a wreck on U.S. 281 about 1.5 miles northwest of Hoisington, the Kansas Highway Patrol said in a crash report.

Investigators determined that an eastbound 1999 Buick LeSabre was stopped waiting to make a left turn into a private driveway when an eastbound 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 rear-ended the car. The crash send the pickup spinning, and the truck ended up in a front yard. The car ended up in a wheat field.

Troopers wrote in the crash report that the pickup driver “was distracted by (her) cellphone.” She was identified as 25-year-old Ashley Bowles, of Great Bend. She was not hurt in the wreck.

The driver of the car was taken to St. Francis with a suspected serious injury. He was identified in the KHP report as Lee Depperschmidt, 84, of Rush Center. The passenger in the car was taken to Clara Barton, and she died at the hospital. She was identified as Ida John, 78, of Lincoln, California.

The loss of a loved one can take a physical and emotional toll on you. Grief can produce stress in your body. The process can be different for everyone, and people may even experience “complicated grief." Learn more here.

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