Sheriff’s Office: 2 die in Sedgwick County crash, fire

Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 11:47 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A crash and fire left two people dead Saturday night.

The two cars collided on K-96 near Mt. Hope with both catching fire while the drivers were still inside.

It’s a night Celeste Clore will not forget. She and her husband were driving back to Wichita when they saw the aftermath of the crash.

“We saw a car over on the shoulder with the flashers on, so he pulled into the left lane and that’s when we saw that there were two cars actually that had been in a wreck and we realized we were first upon the wreck,” said Celeste Clore.

Clore said she and others who stopped at the accident were trying to help the two drivers inside the cars escape.

“I saw him inside and I said ‘hey mister, we’ve got to get you out of here.’ He opened his eyes and then they closed again,” Clore said.

But there was little time to act.

Clore said, “People were starting to come up with fire extinguishers and trying to get that fire out. I tried pulling on the door and it was budged. That’s when I heard my husband that I needed to get out of there. That the gas tank was on fire. Within seconds of that, the entire car was in flames.”

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office has yet to identify the two victims but friends and co-workers at Mid-Kansas Auto Auction say of them was Erin Swisher.

They said they’ll remember her for being kind, well-liked and a hard worker.

Co-worker Dario Gloria said, “She was a great friend. I’ve known her for about a year and a half and it’s going to be a great loss. She did a lot of things for us here at work.”

“I feel very blessed to have gotten to know her, of like three months of knowing hers. She’s a very happy person, very go happy lucky, I just feel very blessed to have gotten to know her and work with her.” co-worker Marla Grinstaff said, “Going to miss her a lot.”

Co-worker Ian Clendenin said, “She did a lot. She worked hard, she stayed late to make sure that everything was ready for the next day, especially for auction day. I mean she’s been here up until about 2 o’clock at night and then she’s been here at 6:30, 7 in the morning ready to get back to work. We lost a really hard worker and a good friend.”

Clore said there was a woman in a red dress at the crash site she would like to connect with if possible.

“She was just crying so hard. My heart just went out to her too. She was obviously very shaken, I would like to contact her just to reach out to see how she’s doing,” said Clore.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office said two people died Saturday night when their vehicles crashed and then caught fire.

Deputies were called to an injury accident on K-96 and 215th Street West around 11:27 p.m. on Saturday. They arrived to find two vehicles on fire. One vehicle was a grey Mazda 6 and the other vehicle was a grey Honda Accord.

A Maize Police Officer and a deputy tried to put out the fires and rescue the drivers, but their efforts were not successful. Both drivers of the vehicles were pronounced deceased at the scene at approximately 12:04 a.m., on August 30, 2020.

Investigators believe the Mazda was driving west in the eastbound lanes of K-96.

The accident is still being investigated and no names have been released.

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