Brad and Brenda Umholtz of DeSoto, KS, were killed June 24 when
their tractor-trailer went over the side of the Kansas River bridge
in the small town east of the Kansas City metropolitan area, the
Johnson County, KS, Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
officers arrived at the scene at 8:20 p.m. June 24, they found the
cab lying on the driver’s side in the river, 65 feet below the bridge
surface. Deputies said the truck appeared to be headed south on
the bridge, which carries Wyandotte Street from rural Leavenworth
County on the north side into DeSoto and Johnson County on the south.
vehicle crossed the centerline, hit a guard rail on the opposite
side of the street and fell into the river.
to local media reports, because of the truck’s location in the middle
of the river, local rescue officials had to call for assistance
from other area cities. Once help arrived, it took divers 45 minutes
to reach the gray truck, Tyler Butts, spokesman for the Overland
Park Fire Department, told The Kansas City Star.
accident is under investigation by the Johnson County, Kan., Sheriff's
Office. The Star reported that authorities were looking for
a witness who they said was driving behind the Umholtz’s truck.
In addition, KMBC television reported the semi may have been pushed
off the bridge by a speeding vehicle.
who were both in their 40s, were team drivers for Gainey Transportation
Service Inc., Grand Rapids, MI. Gainey officials declined to comment
until more information was available.
Mark H. Reddig, associate editor
Reddig can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.