KHP: Proper use of trailer safety features could’ve prevented deadly crash on I-235

Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 4:58 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A 31-year-old woman died in a Tuesday-afternoon crash caused by a trailer that came unhitched from a pickup truck. The trailer unhitched and crossed the median into southbound traffic on Interstate 235 near West Street in southwest Wichita. The unhitched trailer struck the SUV of Sandy Reyes. Reyes died from her injuries.

On Wednesday, Eyewitness News spoke with the Kansas Highway Patrol and the service manager with Larry’s Trailer Sales and Services, a longtime trailer dealer in Wichita about measures that could’ve been taken to prevent the crash. The KHP and Larry’s Trailer Service Manager Phillip Nuttle said this could have been prevented if all of the safety features with the trailer were being utilized.

Each said it’s important if you are hauling a trailer to make sure the ball mount is the right size, to make sure the safety chains of the trailer are attached to the vehicle and that you’re correctly using the brake system on your trailer.

The KHP said it’s paramount that anyone hauling a trailer takes all the safety measures they can. Essentially, troopers point out, that trailer is traveling down the road with nobody controlling it.

“If you do your checks like you should then it should be very preventable,” Nuttle said. “I mean, there’s several safety features on hooking up one of these trailers that should be addressed each and every time you hook one up.”

The KHP and Nuttle said it’s important to take your time before hauling a trailer, checking to make sure the safety chain is hooked up and that the ball mount is secured in the hitch.

There is a GoFundMe campaign for Reyes’ family and funeral expenses.

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