A hit-and-run crash south of Lawrence, Kansas killed two road workers and injured another early Tuesday morning.
The incident occured as road crews worked approximatley five miles south of Lawrence on US-59. Shortly after the crash, authorities were able to apprehend two suspects after a 12 mile chase along US-56 in Osage County. Two women from Washington State are currently being held in custody for their alleged involvement in the workers’ deaths.
The Kansas Department of Transportation confirmed the two individuals killed were Tyrone T. Korte, 30, of Seneca, and Rolland Griffith, 24, of El Dorado. Korte worked for KDOT as an engineering technician and Griffith was an employee of Towanda-based Dustrol Inc., a firm that contracted with the state to do repavement work on US-59. Amanda Hopper, 21, of El Dorado, was listed as the injured worker. She was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where she was treated, then released.
The two women who were arrested were identified as Ramona I. Morgan, 48, and Sabrina J. Morgan, 26, both of Chewelah, Wash. The elder Morgan was the truck’s driver, the Kansas Highway Patrol reported.
The crash occurred at 9:40 a.m. near the Pleasant Hill ridge in an area where resurfacing work was being done. Officials said that a pickup truck was traveling south on US-59 when it struck the pedestrian flagger. The truck then continued into the construction zone, ignoring traffic control, and struck the two fatality victims. The truck then exited the construction zone and fled, the patrol said.
Approximatley 1/2 hour later, a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper, who was responding to the fatality crash, spotted a pickup truck with front-end damage traveling west-bound near Overbrook, Kansas. After attempts to pull over the truck were unsuccessful, a chase ensued and spike strips were ultimately by authorities to disable the vehicle. Morgan and Morgan where then taken into custody and booked into the Osage County Jail.
A preliminary appearance for Morgan and Morgan is scheduled for this week in Osage County District Court.
For more information on this subject matter, please refer to the section on Worksite Injuries and Workers Compensation.