A multiple vehicle accident Friday morning at a highway construction site east of Pratt has claimed the lives of two Amarillo, Texas men and injured three more.
Killed in the accident was Jose Luis Cerda Salazar, 28 of Amarillo and Jesus Julian Salicido Jr., 39 of Amarillo.
The 8:05 a.m. accident was on east U.S. 54 just east of 70th Avenue at the highway construction equipment-crossing site. A flag crew was present at the time of the accident.
The accident happened when an eastbound 1997 Ford pickup driven by Jose Gerardo Morales-Zavala, 21 of Mexico, failed to yield for a construction sign, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol Crash Log web site.
The pickup broadsided a KOSS Construction Caterpillar water truck as it crossed the highway north bound. The collision caused massive damage to the pickup and minor damage to a 2002 Dodge 2500 that was legally parked at the site. Exactly how the Dodge was damaged was not listed in the KHP report. No one was in the Dodge at the time of the accident.
The water truck suffered some damage but was not towed from the scene.
The pickup came to rest on the north side of the road. The pickup was pulling a flatbed trailer with parts for pole type carport. The pieces were scatted across the highway.
Salazar and Salicido were pronounced dead at the scene. Morales-Zavala was listed as transported to Pratt Regional Medical Center but the KHP report also lists him as "refused treatment."
A third passenger in the pickup, Jose Guadalupe Hernandez-Guzman, 27 of Texas but city unknown, was transported to Pratt Regional Medical Center then an EagleMed helicopter transferred him to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. His condition was unavailable.
The driver of the Caterpillar water truck, Basilio Hernandez, 19 and address unknown, was also transported to Pratt Regional Medical Center then moved to Via Christi St. Francis Campus in Wichita. His condition was also unavailable.
Morales-Zavala and Salicido were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident. It is unknown if Salazar and Hernandez-Guzman were wearing seatbelts.
The Caterpillar water tank driver Hernandaz was not wearing a seatbelt.