2 dead in Jefferson County 2-vehicle crash

GRANTVILLE, Kan. (KSNT) – A multi-vehicle fatal crash shutdown a northeast Kansas highway early Friday morning.

Officials on scene told KSNT News a van with six occupants inside was heading east on U.S. 24 and a black Sedan with two adults and one child was heading north on Barton Rd. when the black Sedan failed to yield causing the van to hit it and lose control rolling into a ditch.

Two people lost their lives in the crash: The driver of the van, 66-year-old Gerald A. Baxter of Clay Center; 65-year-old Carla Rene Polson, of Blue Rapids. They were pronounced dead on scene.

The other occupants of the vehicle were 64-year-old Ruth M. Baxter of Clay Center, 61-year-old Robert Stewart of Clay Center, 61-year-old Barbara Jean Stewart of Clay Center, and 69-year-old Martha M. Hanson of Riley.

One person was taken by a medical helicopter to the hospital and three others were taken to Stormont Vail Hospital by AMR.

The three people in the black Sedan were not injured. They are identified as 31-year-old driver Hanna Rose Stark of Grantville, 10-year-old Caydeace Stark of Grantville, and 9-year-old Alissa Stark of Grantville.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said they received the report at 7:12 a.m. of an accident at U.S. Highway 24 and Barton Rd., east of K-4.

The eastbound lanes of U.S. 24 were shut down while crews work the scene. The Kansas Department of Transportation said traffic reported the area was back open to traffic just after 1:00 p.m.

Blue Rapids United Methodist Church Pastor Debby Dick told KSNT News the people in the van were headed to Lansing Prison to minister inmates in the Brothers In Blue Program.

The church will be holding a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. Friday.

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