Marion County man dies in U.S. 50 traffic accident

Another Marion County resident died last week one a deadly stretch of one of the state’s deadliest highways.

Todd Svitak, 40, of Pilsen was killed when the van he was riding in collided with a semitrailer on U.S. Highway 50 near Peabody. The 1989 Dodge van driven by Svitak’s 14-year-old son. A 12-year-old son also was riding in the van.

According to the Marion County sheriff’s office, at about 10:10 p.m. the van, traveling east, crossed the center line and collided head-on with a westbound semitrailer about one-half mile west of Peabody.

Svitak was pronounced dead at the scene. The two boys were taken to a Wichita hospital, where they were treated and released.

According to Undersheriff Randy Brazil, the teen driver had a driving permit that allowed him to drive legally as long as he is accompanied by an adult.

Authorities were still investigating why the van crossed the center line of the highway.

Svitak owned and operated Svitak Machine at Lincolnville, and was well known in the area for his expertise in the field.

His obituary appears on Page 8.

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