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One person dead as Kansas Turnpike Authority investigates multi-vehicle crash. Video by kfdi.comvideo
The Kansas Turnpike Authority shut down both southbound lanes of the toll road for several hours near Pawnee after a fatal crash.
The accident involved six vehicles and happened at about 12:20 a.m. Wednesday.
Kansas Turnpike Authority Master Trooper Patrick Kelly said two crashes were caused by the failure of a coupling device being used by a school bus that was towing another school bus. The break left one bus disabled in the middle of the 75 mph roadway.
"Quite frankly, it's amazing we had only one fatality and no other injuries to speak of," Kelly said.
Sixty-year-old Donald Eugene Putman of Wichita died when his 2006 Nissan collided with a semi. Both bus drivers were taken into custody. Kelly said charges are pending.
"On the turnpike, it's illegal to tow a vehicle with a flexible towing device, such as a strap, a chain, a rope," Kelly said. "It's required to have a rigid coupling device between the vehicles. That coupling device broke and failed."