• October 11, 2022

Three Killed; Amber Peery, Child Injured in Crash with Semi-Truck on Kansas Turnpike near Topeka

Topeka, KS — October 8, 2022, three young children died and 32-year-old Amber Peery was injured in a crash with a semi-truck on the Kansas Turnpike near Topeka.

Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 9:15 a.m. on the Turnpike near the Southwest 69th Street overpass and mile marker 172. Preliminary investigation suggests that Peery was driving a minivan south on the highway when she reportedly tried to U-turn through the barrier wall. While turning the van collided with a passing semi-truck.

Three children in the van, all under 10 years old, suffered fatal injuries in the crash. Peery and an 8-year-old girl were taken to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The truck driver was unhurt.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Amber Peery Accident near Topeka

Early reports about this accident seem to show an ill-timed U-turn attempt was its main cause. I have no specific reason to doubt that, but at the same time it's always important to investigate a crash like this carefully and thoroughly--particularly with three young lives so tragically cut short. If there's more to the story, everyone affected by the accident deserves to know that.

For instance, news reports interviewed locals about the area where the crash occurred and learned that many people try the same illegal U-turn at that gap in the median barrier. If that spot is misunderstood as a safe place to change directions maybe some changes are in order. Moreover, there are still unanswered questions about other possible factors: Traffic patterns, weather and road conditions, the speed of the big rig at the time of the crash, and many other details have to be worked out to ensure the whole story is known.

Amber Peery Injured, 3 Children Dead in Accident on Kansas Turnpike near Topeka

I'm not trying to overcomplicate things or necessarily find a "bad guy" to point fingers at here. I'm only saying what I so often do: When people are hurt or killed in accidents like this one it's important to learn precisely how and why things went that way--and if they could reasonably have been avoided or prevented. Will police look into this matter beyond just putting together a "good enough" timeline of events, or should independent investigators look more closely and get some real answers?

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