A collision between a semi and small pickup truck on a major commuting route in Atchison County left one woman dead.
The sheriff's office said it happened on a road that is all too often the site of dangerous accidents.
The wreck happened just before 9 a.m. at the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and K-116.
Investigators are still trying to determine what happened, but said it appears the woman driving the pickup truck, Marcia Rygaard of Effingham, KS, pulled out in front of the semitruck.
The Atchison County Sheriff said the wreck, as bad as it was, could've been worse if the semitruck driver hadn't tried to swerve out of the way.
"It could have very well have been more injuries to him (the semi driver) or a double fatality. He did a good job maneuvering the vehicle the best he could and stayed on roadway," Sheriff John Calhoon said.
The sheriff's office said the impact of the semi slamming into the small truck pushed the vehicle and its driver down the road some 50 feet. Rygaard, 72, is believed by investigators to have died on impact.
This isn't the only time a serious accident has happened on the heavily traveled stretch of road between Atchison and Topeka.
"Could be people in a hurry, inattentive, but it just seems like this is a stretch of area in our county we work far too many fatalities in," Calhoon said.
Investigators are still working to determine exactly what happened Thursday morning.
All lanes of both northbound and southbound U.S. Highway 59 from the K-116 intersection to Nortonville city limits and eastbound and westbound K-116 from U.S. Highway 159 north of Nortonville to K-4 were shut down for several hours following the wreck and they reopened about 2 p.m.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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