‘I started praying’: Child dies, 3 family members injured in Gardner crash


GARDNER, Kan. — Terry Simpson said he saw a car speeding past his home early Monday morning, and what happened next, he says he’ll never forget. 

“Before I could get up to see it stop, I heard the crash, a big boom,” Simpson said.

Shortly before, a family of four was driving northbound in an SUV at the intersection of 175th and Four Corners Road when they were struck by a roofing vehicle traveling westbound.

The impact caused a chain reaction, with the roofing vehicle crashing into another truck, then the truck collided with a van stopped nearby.

One child died, and the driver and two other children in the car were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Authorities are now investigating the crash.

Debbie Gray said her family has lived on the road where the crash took place for decades. She walked out of her Gardner home Monday morning to the shocking scene.

“I started praying. I started praying for the cars. I had no idea who was in there,” she said.

Traffic has been minimal in the area in previous years but has picked up significantly recently.

“Be really careful when you are pulling out here,” she said, “because cars that are going this way, you have to watch because they can get on you pretty quick.”

Police have not released the names of the family members involved in the crash or the age of the child who died. The other vehicles involved in the crash have no confirmed injuries.

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