Accident claims two Marion County youth


A two-vehicle accident last week involving four young people from Marion County has claimed two lives.





James Weber, 19, of Ramona died Wednesday, July 22, not long after arriving at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita by Life Team helicopter.

A second teenager, Charles Jeremiah Stang, 18, of Marion died of his injuries Friday. Following the accident, Stang was flown by Life Team to Wichita?s Via Christi St. Francis in critical condition.

The two others involved in the accident were Jessica Deines, 20, of Ramona, driver of a 1999 Pontiac, and Alex Hajek, 17, of Tampa, driver of a 2003 Ford pickup.

Deines was released from Wesley Medical Center in Wichita after being hospitalized three days. Hajek was treated and released the same day of the accident from Herington Hospital in Herington.

The accident happened at about 9 p.m. at the intersection of 340th and Nighthawk.

According to Marion County Sheriff Rob Craft, Dienes was driving west on 340th. The Pontiac was struck by Hajek?s vehicle, which was southbound. Weber and Stang were both passengers in the Pontiac.

Marion County Sheriff?s Deputy Jim Philpott, who was at the scene, said from all indications neither vehicle was speeding.

?Both were within the limits,? he said, ?and there was also no alcohol or drugs involved.?

Philpott said he believes the Pontiac was driving uphill out of a valley. The Ford pickup, he said, was coming over a hill and was heading downhill. Between them was a high ditch north on 340th that could have made visibility difficult, he said.

Philpott said Hajek was the only person involved who was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

?The accident took place on an uncontrolled intersection,? said Marion County Sheriff Rob Craft. ?An uncontrolled intersection has no stop or yield signs, and this was a dirt road with a little gravel on it.?

According to Kansas statute, Philpott said, when vehicles enter an uncontrolled intersections, the vehicle to the left is responsible to yield to the vehicle to the right.

No other details about the accident were available, other than Philpott saying the sheriff?s office is about to wrap up its investigation.

Obituaries for Stang and Weber appear on Page 3 of this issue.

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