Written by Patty Decker Tuesday, 30 October 2012 14:07
A 21-year-old Manhattan man and 2009 graduate of Centre High School, died early Sunday morning after being struck by a vehicle on U.S. Highway 24, two miles east of Manhattan.
Konley L. Harding, a student at the Manhattan Area Technical College, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s office.
“We received a 911 report (at 12:09 a.m.) of a person lying in the roadway on Highway 24 just east of Excel Road in the eastbound lane,” Sheriff Greg Riat said.
The Kansas Highway Patrol and Pottawatomie County law enforcement officials continue to look for the vehicle and driver that struck Harding.
According to a witness, the person who struck Harding was driving a light-colored sport utility vehicle, Riat said.
“The witness reported the SUV was eastbound on (Highway) 24 and continued eastbound after striking the victim,” Riat said.
The concensus by investigators, he said, was that because Harding was wearing dark clothing and was reported to be lying in the roadway before he was run over, the unidentified driver might not have thought he hit someone.
Rob Edleston, president and chief executive officer at MATC, offered condolences on the loss of Harding.
“It is with deep sorrow that we begin this week mourning the loss of our dear student, Konley L. Harding, who lost his life this weekend in a terrible accident,” Edleston said.
“Konley had been a student in our business administration program and was spending his last semester with us finishing his general education courses before graduating in December.”
Harding, he said, was an active member of the student body serving on the student government organization and participating in many academic and extracurricular activities.
“He will be dearly missed, but never forgotten by our faculty, fellow students and the staff at Manhattan Area Technical College,” Edleston said.
One Marion County resident, who asked to remain anonymous, remembered Harding as a “very kind and outgoing young man.”
She said it was a “tragic, senseless death” and is praying for his family.
One official at MATC said Harding lost his mother, Lois I. Harding, 49, to cancer eight years prior to his death.
“Our collective thoughts and prayers will abide with Konley’s family, friends, and acquaintances during this difficult and trying time,” Edleston said. Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home & Crematory in Council Grove is in charge of arrangements for Harding. At press time, the date and time of the service was unavailable.
The Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s office is continuing to look for the unidentified driver and asking him or her to come forward regarding this case.
The driver of the vehicle would have known they struck an object, but may not necessarily have known it was an individual, according to the sheriff.
Riat asked that anyone with information about the incident should contact the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s office at 785-457-3353.