WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Kansas Highway Patrol says a 17-year-old girl died in an accident on I-135 near Harry Sunday morning after the driver of the vehicle she was in lost control.
KHP crash logs indicate that the vehicle was traveling northbound on I-135, struck the concrete wall, then overturned.
The passenger, Diana Lopez, 17 of Park City, was ejected from the vehicle. Lopez was taken to the hospital in serious condition and later died.
Lopez was a passenger in the vehicle and not wearing her seat belt, the Kansas Highway Patrol says. Her parents say the crash might have had a different outcome if Lopez was wearing her seat belt.
"Very important to weary your seat belt. It can save you life," Diana Lopez's father Efrain Lopez says. "If she would have had hers on, she'd probably still be here right now."
The Kansas HIghway Patrol says the driver of the vehicle was wearing her seat belt when the crash happened.
USD 262 Valley Center Public Schools posted the following statement on their Facebook page:
Dear Hornet Family,
We are deeply saddened to inform you that Diana Lopez, a junior enrolled at Valley Center High School, passed away earlier today due to injuries sustained in a vehicle accident.
Families are encouraged to have conversations to understand the emotions students may be experiencing during this difficult time. Additionally, please know we will have counseling services available at Valley Center High School for staff and students as needed throughout the coming days and weeks ahead.
Please keep Diana’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. #CG
The driver of the vehicle, a 17-year-old from Wichita, was also taken to the hospital with possible injuries.
Authorities say Lopez was not wearing a seatbelt during the crash; her 17-year-old driver was wearing one.
The crash shut down northbound lanes of I-135 for a couple hours Sunday morning. Traffic was diverted to Pawnee while crews assessed the scene.