The Kansas Highway Patrol said Thursday it was in the “final stages” of preparing a report on Tuesday’s fatal wreck on Interstate 70 .
The Highway Patrol is preparing a report for the Leavenworth district attorney’s office, Lt. Dan Smith said. After the report is submitted, the district attorney’s office will determine whether to file charges.
The Kansas Turnpike Authority’s preliminary crash report said the driver of the tractor-trailer that rear-ended a passenger vehicle, setting off the chain of events that killed five people, had “perceived the other traffic late.” The driver, 56-year-old Kenny B. Ford of Texas, was not injured.
Ford was fined three years ago in Missouri for operating a commercial vehicle without proper brakes.
The Carle Foundation, a hospital system based in Illinois, issued a statement Thursday mourning the death of two of its employees in the wreck: Teresa J. Butler, 61, of Urbana, Ill., and Karen Lynn Kennedy, 63, of New Palestine, Ind.
Butler worked for the hospital system for 44 years and spent 29 of them as a certified trauma registrar. Kennedy was a neonatal nurse practitioner for had worked for the hospital for two stints since 1990, the most recent since 2014.
The two women were headed to Colorado when they got caught in the wreck, said Butler’s brother, Damian Butler. He said his sister loved the mountains.
Shane Sanderson: 816-234-4440, @shanersanderson