Alcohol believed to be involved in Barton County crash
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Barton County Sheriff’s Office said alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in a crash Thursday night.
Deputies responded to a two-vehicle injury accident on US-281, just north of Great Bend around 11:20 p.m. The accident happened near milepost 106 in a construction area where a bridge is being built.
Investigators learned a 1986 Ford Mustang convertible driven by Jason Bitter, age 33 of Great Bend, was northbound on US 281 Highway at a high rate of speed. Dispatchers received a reckless driving complaint on the same vehicle a few minutes prior to the reported crash.
The second vehicle, a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Carlos Orozco, age 22 of Leoti, was stopped at the construction site. When the light turned green, he began to head north on Hwy 281. Investigators say that’s when Bitter’s vehicle struck Orozco’s from behind at a high rate of speed. The impact caused Orozco’s Pontiac to strike the crash barriers and spin into the east ditch. Bitter’s vehicle also came to rest in the east ditch.
Both drivers were transported to the University of Kansas Medical Center Great Bend campus and later flown to Wichita area hospitals in serious condition.
The sheriff’s office said it will pursue criminal charges upon further investigation and toxicology reports.
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