investigator in Johnson County, KS, said July 3 that law-enforcement
officials have not yet been able to determine what caused an accident
that killed a husband-and-wife driving team near DeSoto, KS.
John Resman of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office said many of
the obvious possible causes had been ruled out.
no hidden health issues and we can’t find anything wrong with
the truck,” he told Land Line.
Brad and Brenda Umholtz of DeSoto 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.
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 center line, hitting a guard rail on the opposite
side of the street and falling 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.
media reports indicated that the semi may have been pushed off
the bridge by a speeding vehicle. However, Resman said that was
was a car behind them that saw them go over the bridge,” he said,
but no other vehicles were present.
still looking at a lot of different little things that may play
a part in it,” he said.
fact that health and mechanical problems have been ruled out doesn’t
make finding the cause any easier, he added. “We may never know.”
Umholtzes, 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.