By Gary Demuth
Salina Journal – July 30, 2015
Photo by Tom Dorsey. Click on photo to view full-size image.
Two women were trapped in their car Thursday afternoon after broadsiding a flatbed truck at the intersection of Donmyer and Water Well roads in far east Saline County.
At about 2:45 p.m., a Buick Lucerne driven by Carolyn J. Beetch, 75, Carlton, was eastbound on Water Well when it struck the driver’s side of a flatbed truck used for transporting commercial-sized trash cans, said Master Trooper Greg Arnold of the Kansas Highway Patrol.
The car spun about 30 feet to the north and came to a stop upright in the west ditch on Donmyer. The truck, which was headed north on Donmyer, came to rest in a field northwest of the intersection.
Beetch and a passenger in the car, Laverna I. Ernst, 90, Enterprise, were trapped in the car, which also had its windows shattered and hood sheared off.
Both front and side airbags were deployed, which probably saved their lives, said Capt. Keith Lindemann, of the Salina Fire Department.
“They also were wearing their seat belts,” he said.
The women were conscious but only semiresponsive, Lindemann said. A Life Team helicopter was called to the scene but then was recalled when the women were freed from their car. Both were taken by ambulance to Salina Regional Health Center.
“The helicopter was launched to the hospital in case, after assessment, they have to be transported to Wichita,” Lindemann said.
The driver of the truck, Kenneth Paul Cimier, 58, of Solomon, was uninjured.
Both vehicles were estimated to be traveling about 55 miles an hour when they collided at the unmarked intersection, Arnold said.
“At this point, it looks like the car failed to yield the right of way to the truck,” he said.