A 22-year-old Paola man was killed in a two-vehicle wreck at about 11 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, on Kansas Highway 68 about five miles west of Paola.
Dallis M. Palmer was killed when the 1990 Mazda passenger car he was driving west on Highway 68 crossed the center line for unknown reasons and struck an eastbound 2010 Peterbilt tractor-trailer head on, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol report.
The 37-year-old driver of the semitrailer, Jordan Chism of Michie, Tenn., was transported to Miami County Medical Center with suspected minor injuries, according to the highway patrol report.
The wreck occurred near the intersection of Highway 68 and Lookout Road.
The Miami County Sheriff’s Office reported that Highway 68 was closed for a period of time in both directions, between Lookout and Lonestar roads, for an accident investigation. Highway 68 reopened Thursday morning, according to the report.
Palmer was not wearing a safety restraint, according to the highway patrol report.
Six months earlier, the Paola man was involved in a similar two-vehicle, injury crash on the same stretch of Highway 68 near the Franklin County line.
At a Saturday, Feb. 1, legislative breakfast in Louisburg, state legislators talked about the need to widen the two-lane highway. They called on community leaders, local elected officials, business owners and school district administrators to write letters or contact the transportation secretary’s office to urge that Highway 68 be on the state transportation improvement project list moving forward.
“68 highway is the longest stretch of state highway that is undivided and that is only two lanes,” Sen. Molly Baumgardner, a Louisburg Republican, said. ”They (Kansas Department of Transportation) also know it has exceptionally high truck traffic, which makes it even more dangerous.”