Two drivers escaped injury shortly before sunset Saturday when their vehicles collided on east U.S. 54 in the highway construction zone about six miles east of Pratt.
The accident occurred when a westbound 2011 Peterbilt semi and trailer, driven by 33-year-old Forest Zeno III of Houston, Texas, came upon a westbound 1995 F350 Ford pickup driven by 18-year-old Brandon McNerny of Cunningham that was stopped on the highway waiting for traffic to clear to make a left turn onto an access road. The pickup was pulling a homemade trailer, said Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Mark Crump.
The access road is halfway between east 60th Avenue and east 70th Avenue. The accident occurred when the sun was low and in the driver's eyes.
The sun was in Zeno's eyes and he did not see the pickup. The semi struck the trailer behind the pickup causing the trailer to detach and come to a stop on the north shoulder. The pickup went into the north ditch and came to a stop upright facing north with damage to the full length of the driver's side. The trailer came to rest on the north shoulder and was heavily damaged.
The semi came to a stop in the westbound lane, facing west, and suffered damage to the right half of the hood.
Neither driver was injured in the accident. Traffic was routed through the accident site for about an hour until the vehicles were cleared.