4 injured in crash after semi-truck collides with roadside vehicles, catches fire

India Yarborough
An image posted to the Phillips County Sheriff's Office Facebook page shows damage to a deputy's patrol vehicle after a semi struck its rear, pushing the patrol vehicle into a ditch on K-383 highway.

A Phillips County Sheriff’s Office deputy and three children sustained minor injuries Wednesday evening in Norton County after a semi-truck collided with vehicles parked on the side of K-383 highway.

According to a post on the Phillips County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, deputy John Miner had stopped shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday to assist a disabled motorist on the highway near West 800 Road in Norton County.

While out of his patrol vehicle, a westbound semi-truck collided with the rear of Miner’s vehicle.

According to crash information available on the Kansas Highway Patrol’s website, the collision pushed the unoccupied patrol vehicle, which had its emergency lights activated, into the nearby ditch. The semi then struck a trailer that was parked in front of the patrol vehicle, causing the semi to spill fuel and catch fire.

The semi continued westbound, past two other vehicles that had been parked in front of the deputy’s vehicle on the side of the highway. Both vehicles, one of which had a camper attached, caught fire due to the amount of fuel spilled.

Three front-seat occupants on one of the vehicles were able to safely exit the vehicle, while the sheriff’s deputy removed two children from the back seat of the vehicle before they were injured by the fire.

The Phillips County Sheriff’s Office indicated deputy Miner was the only victim involved in the crash to suffer minor injuries, including minor burns. But KHP reported the three children involved in the incident were also suspected of sustaining minor injuries.

Ella Rae, 4; Emric Wilkens, 2; and Ryatt Wilkens, 1, all from Wisconsin, were transported to the Phillips County Hospital by EMS.