An early morning collision resulted in critical injuries for a Wichita man and shut down K-15 highway Nov. 7.
A Goessel High School student, Kevin Moon, was on his way to an honor math contest when he pulled his 1988 Chevy pickup onto the highway from the east after stopping at the stop sign. He proceeded into the path of an oncoming truck driven by Robert Earnst, 56, of Wichita. Earnst swerved to miss the youth and lost control of his 2005 F150 pickup. The vehicle flipped several times before coming to rest on its side in the middle of the highway just south of Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church. Alberto Morales-Ceniceros, 61, also of Wichita, was a passenger in Earnst’s vehicle.
Moon, who was not hurt, rushed to aid Earnst and Morales-Ceniceros, kicking out their shattered windshield and pulling them out.
“I didn’t know what else to do. I just didn’t see them,” Moon said. “I looked both ways but just didn’t see them.”
Goessel first responders arrived on the scene first and assisted Morales-Ceniceros with a critical head injury. They also diverted highway traffic through the nearby church parking lot while the highway was shut down. Ambulances from Hesston and Hillsboro responded, as well as state troopers and a fleet of other emergency personnel. Eventually, a Life Team helicopter flew Morales-Ceniceros to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. Marion County EMS transported Earnst to Newton for emergency care.
According to Marion County Sheriff Rob Craft, a third vehicle drove over debris from the initial crash but the driver, Shannon Gustason, 36, did not sustain any injuries.