GEARY COUNTY — One person died in an accident just after noon Tuesday in Geary County.
The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2005 Chevy Malibu driven by Ashlen Leigh Lemon 19, Hays,was westbound on Interstate 70 two miles west of Junction City.
The driver lost control due to icy road conditions. The vehicle entered the median and struck the guardrail.
Lemon was transported to the hospital in Junction City where she died. Lemon was properly restrained at the time of the accident, according to the KHP.
UPDATE: One lane of I-70 has reopened in both eastbound and westbound directions but law enforcement authorities were discouraging all travel as of mid-afternoon Tuesday.
Geary County Acting Sheriff Brad Clark advised residents to not travel anywhere unless you absolutely have to travel. “Right now we’ve got partial blockage on the interstate from the 305 eastbound to about 311 ( mile markers ). It’s extremely icy out there, and we have several slide offs and a few accidents.” Fortunately, Clark was able to confirm he did not know of any fatalities in any of the accidents.
Authorities have closed Interstate 70 in both east and westbound directions from the Geary-Dickinson County line east to exit 295 on the southwest side of Junction City.
According to Geary County Emergency Management Director Garry Berges law enforcement authorities are working a series of accidents including one that he described as serious on the interstate three miles west of Junction City. “They do have traffic shut down in both directions. They say it’s just a solid sheet of ice out there. ”
Berges said he has also been driving in Junction City. “We’ve got numerous roads, just a little bit of an incline and it’s just pure sheets of ice. So travel is very dangerous and treacherous right now ( about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday ).”
Berges also noted accidents have been reported on the K-18 bypass in Riley County. He discouraged travel and urged motorists to pull over and wait until KDOT can get the highways sanded. That process was under way.