Teen driver crashes pickup into back end of semi hauling corn in Pratt County

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
A Pratt County Sheriff's Deputy and local residents evaluate a Dodge pickup as it is readied for removal from the scene of an accident that happened Thursday just after noon last week north of Pratt. A teenage driver in the pickup ran into the back axle of a semi hauling a full load of corn.
Corn spilled on the roadway is just minor consideration after a pickup vs semi accident near the intersection of NE 10th Avenue and 40th Street last Thursday in which the back axle of the semi trailer was broken on impact.

A $4,500 trailer was totaled, more than 1,000 pounds of corn spilled onto a rural roadway and a white, two-door Dodge pickup will likely never be driven again, but no lives were lost and an area teen walked away from a vehicle vs semi accident on Thursday a few miles northeast of Pratt.

At 12:25 p.m., R & D Trucking driver/owner David Sherman called Pratt County 911 Dispatch to report an accident at the intersection of NE 10th Avenue and NE 40th Street.

"I saw him coming and was doing everything I could do to get through the intersection because I could tell he wasn't going to be stopping," Sherman said.

A white two-door Dodge pickup driven by a recent Skyline High School graduate was westbound on NE 40th Street, according to Sherman. The pickup did not stop at the intersection and hit the back axle of the semi as it was southbound on NE 10th Ave.

“I had a full load of corn and was going to Scouler Grain,” Sherman said. “We haul 50,000 bushels of corn a day on these roads, five days a week. It was an open intersection so I have no idea why he didn’t see me.”

Sherman, who is one of three drivers for Kanza Coop currently hauling corn, said the officer from the Pratt County Sheriff’s Department who investigated the accident told him at the scene that if the pickup had hit the back end of the grain trailer a second and half sooner, there would have likely been a fatality.

“That young man is very lucky to be alive,” Sherman said. “Insurance will absorb the cost of corn. We were able to salvage all but about 91 bushels out of the 1,030-pound load, but you can’t put a price on the value of a live. We are all so glad the young driver was okay and able to walk away from this.”

The teen driver was taken by private vehicle to Pratt Regional Medical Center for check after the accident.

An official report of the accident had not yet been filed by the Pratt County Sheriff’s Department by press time on Monday.