Three Injured in Accident that Knocked Semi Off Overpass

SALINE COUNTY – The driver of a semi was among three injured Tuesday afternoon in an accident that caused a semi to drive off an overpass at the Interstate 135/Interstate 70 junction in Saline County.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, the accident began when a pilot car, a 2013 Chrysler 300, had stopped on I—135, south of I-70, to attempt to allow an oversized load to merge on northbound U.S. Highway 81, just after 1 p.m.

At the same time, a 2016 Freightliner semi driven by Earl James Griffin, Jr., 61, Wichita, was traveling northbound on I-135, when he struck the pilot car, lost control of the semi, and struck a concrete bridge rail. The semi continued through the bridge railing and vaulted onto the eastbound lanes of I-70, where it came to rest. Debris falling from the overpass struck a 2017 Dodge Ram driven by Durand L. Weidman, 65, Salina, that was traveling on I-70 at the time of the accident.

Griffin was taken to Salina Regional Health Center for treatment of minor injuries. The driver and a passenger of the pilot car, Darlene McCall, 57, Houston, Tex., and Rosa Maria Orozco, 69, Lyford, Tex., were also taken to Salina Regional for treatment of minor injuries. Weidman was not injured. All four were properly restrained at the time of the accident, according to a KHP report.

Portions of the junction were closed for several hours while emergency crews worked
to clear the scene.

Photos: Terry Tebrugge/Salina Scoop
Photo: Kansas Dept. of Transportation