• February 07, 2022

Alexander Dennis and Passenger Killed in Multi-Vehicle Crash on KS-14 near Nickerson

Nickerson, KS -- February 4, 2022, 30-year-old Alexander Dennis and his teenage passenger were killed in a multi-vehicle wreck on State Route 14 near Nickerson.

Authorities say the incident happened just after 4:00 p.m. Friday on southbound KS-14. Preliminary investigation suggests Dennis was driving a Mitsubishi Galant south on the roadway and slowed in response to traffic ahead while other vehicles waited for one to make a left turn. As the Mitsubishi slowed, a Ford Mustang approached from behind and crashed into it.

The impact pushed the Galant into the northbound lane where it was hit by a Peterbilt tractor-trailer operated by 60-year-old Charles Messick. The Galant also hit the trailer on a passing Chevrolet Suburban.

After its impact with the Mitsubishi the Peterbilt jackknifed onto the west shoulder and crashed with a Ram pickup driven by 38-year-old Casey Gamble.

The Mitsubishi's teen passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. Alexander Dennis was transported to an area hospital where he died later that night. Charles Messick received possible injuries and was also transported to a hospital. None of the other drivers or five other people in the Suburban were injured.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Alexander Dennis Accident on KS-14 near Nickerson

All in all this sounds like a highly chaotic scene with a lot of moving parts. Police must determine whether all the drivers involved reacted appropriately to weather and traffic conditions. Beyond that they'll also need to take statements from everyone involved (and any witnesses) and reconcile them all, on top of carefully evaluating the scene and preserving any evidence they can find.

Overall it's a tall order. I just hope law enforcement is willing to put in the time and effort needed to fully address this matter and be sure they find the whole truth of it.

Alexander Dennis and Passenger Killed in Multi-Vehicle Crash on KS-14 near Nickerson

I don't mean that as an insult to their hard (and too often thankless) work. People may just not realize that traffic investigations, even large and complicated ones like this, don't always receive much of a department's limited resources. Because of that many crash scenes are quickly examined before a plausible conclusion is reached and the file is closed, meaning police don't look any closer. Unless someone does so in search of more details and clearer answers, the guess in reports essentially becomes their final word on the matter even if critical details might have been overlooked or evidence was lost. That's highly problematic when trying to help victims and their families in the aftermath of these incidents.

As things stand there's a lot of ground to cover in order to figure out the specific cause (or causes plural) of the crash. Some may notice one vehicle plowing into another seems to have been the catalyst for the whole thing, but right now nobody can say with certainty why the striking vehicle didn't or couldn't slow down in time. Was it due to something common like the driver following too closely or not paying attention until it was too late, or could the car have hit a slick patch of road? Might it have had a brake failure? Moreover, could any of the other drivers involved have done anything differently to avoid the crash or lessen the damage?

These questions aren't meant to muddy the waters or accuse anyone of wrongdoing. I only mean to say it's bound to be a complicated situation that will take significant effort to fully comprehend. I hope police pay it the careful attention it deserves to ensure all those affected get every available answer. Any other actions to take will likely depend on what those answers turn out to be.

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