Recent accidents include boy hit at First and Jackson streets in Pratt

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Pratt officer Rebecca Slief visits with a driver involved in an accident at First and Jackson streets in Pratt last week, while Pratt officer Sheldon monitors traffic at the dangerous intersection.

A series of notable accidents took place over the past two weeks in Pratt, keeping city police officers busy in reponse. A boy was hit by a truck near the intersection of First Street and Jackson last Thursday, then a week later on September 24 a semi-truck tipped over at Fincham Road and U.S. Highway 54 just north of Walmart, and finally another accident occurred at First and Jackson on Friday, September 25. While there were other fender-benders around town during that same time period, each of the afore mentioned accidents left officers, those involved and witnesses thankful that more injurious consequences were not the end results.

“We had some kids walking home from school on the 17th, and basically what happened was that a boy, age 13, approached the intersection of First and Jackson with his brother,” said Pratt Police Sargent Ed Gimple. “He became impatient and decided not to wait for traffic to clear and darted across, behind the rear wheels of a semi that was not moving at the time.”

According to Gimple, dash cam video submitted by a witness at the accident scene showed exactly what happened.

The boy neglected to look both ways as he sprinted behind the semi and he was hit by a pickup in the westbound lane. 

“The driver of the Chevy Silverado pickup never saw the boy until he was up on his hood,” Gimple said. “The young man hit the right front panel of the truck, bounced off the hood and skidded across the street on the pavement, coming to a stop at the curb in front of Mid-West Auto Sales. He popped up with nothing more than a bloody nose and a few cuts and bruises. He was incredibly lucky to have walked away from what could have been a horrible tragedy.”

Gimple said an ambulance was called and  an emergency crew transported the boy to PRMC where he was treated and released.

“It’s likely that the semi driver never even knew what happened behind him,” Gimple said. “But that was a very, very fortunate young man.” 

Gimple said that school children crossing First Street in that area before and after school, should be instructed to cross at the stop lights of First and Main as that is a much safer intersection with crosswalks and lights.

“First and Jackson is very dangerous and I would hope parents could teach their kids to avoid that intersection,” Gimple said. “If they cross there they have to wait until traffic is clear both ways, and sometimes that takes a very long time.”

A semi-tractor trailer was involved in a wreck exactly a week later, but this time on the east side of Pratt, at the intersection of First Street/U.S. Highway 54/500 and Fincham Street.

“This was an injury accident in which a driver coming out of the Walmart parking lot, exited onto the road, pulling directly into the path of a 2015 Kenworth with a heavy load of rock of some type.

The driver of the semi, Kevin Wieman, 51, Missouri, told officers that as he turned left onto Fincham Road to avoid hitting the vehicle that cut him off, his load shifted, causing the semi to overturn.

Wieman was transported to PRMC to be checked for head injuries, but was later released. His passenger, Jammie Moore, also from Missouri, was not hurt.

It took Southwest Truck Parts employees several hours to clean up the spilled semi load. The rock substance was housed in large bags that split open and spilled when they tried to remove them from the area.

It was a messy ordeal, but one that could have been a lot worse.

On Friday, September 25 another accident took place at First and Jackson streets when a Buick Enclave driven by Erica McGrevy of Pratt was hit by a Nissan Morano driven by Rita Hansen, Pratt. Neither was injured.

According to police records, Hansen entered the intersection going south to north, into the path of McGrevy who was traveling west on U.S. 54/400. 

Though traffic was restricted for a time at the intersection as police officers worked through accident protocols, there were no injuries reported or EMS transport needed.