German bicyclists killed in Kansas highway crash had flown to U.S. for Route 66 ride

. Wichita Eagle file photo

Two German citizens who were killed in a crash while riding bicycles on a Kansas highway were on a Route 66 ride.

Heinz Gerd Buchel, 71, and Harry Jung, 74, were traveling westbound in the right lane of Kansas Highway 66 at 11:05 a.m. Tuesday, about 2 miles west of Galena, a Kansas Highway Patrol crash report states.

A Chrysler Town and Country van driven by a 23-year-old Shawnee woman was driving in the same lane when it struck the bicyclists from behind, the crash report states.

Buchel, of Bad Nauheim, and Jung, of Steinfurth, were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the van was uninjured.

The men were following cycling laws when they were hit, the Joplin Globe reported.

Cherokee County Attorney Jacob Conard said Friday that he has discussed the situation with state troopers, but has not received any investigative reports requesting charges.

Buchel and Jung were experienced cyclists on a 4,000-kilometer bike ride along Route 66, reported the Frankfurter Neue Presse, a Germany newspaper. The pair flew into Chicago and planned to fly back to Germany 59 days later.