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The Shopper

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Friday, September 28, 2012 10:13 PM

Photo by Matt Bristow/The Ottawa Herald

Emergency personnel extricate the driver of a vehicle involved in a rollover wreck Friday afternoon at the intersection of Seventh and South Main streets in Ottawa.

Main Street crash, rollover disrupt traffic, draw audience

By CRYSTAL HERBER, Herald Staff Writer

A two-vehicle wreck Friday afternoon sent one man to the hospital and caused traffic to be redirected at a major intersection.

James L. Fredricks, 83, Ottawa, was taken to Overland Park Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries after the vehicle he was driving was struck by a vehicle driven by Brenda J. Van Horn, 34, Ottawa, Capt. Adam Weingartner, with the Ottawa Police Department, said. The collision occurred shortly after 2 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Seventh and Main streets in Ottawa.

Fredricks’ vehicle was hit on the passenger’s side, overturned at least once and came to rest on its driver’s side in the southbound lanes of Main Street in the intersection. Van Horn’s vehicle stopped on the curb in front of Bank of the West, 700 S. Main St. Both vehicles received significant damage in the incident.

Witness statements at the scene led to conflicting information, Weingartner said, and the wreck remained under investigation Friday afternoon. Based on the drivers’ statements and the investigation, Weingartner said, the collision occurred when Fredricks’ Chevrolet Equinox, which was traveling north on Main Street, attempted to turn west on West Seventh Street and was struck by Van Horn’s Mercury Mountaineer, which was traveling south on South Main Street.

Fredricks was pinned in the vehicle for about 30 minutes. Passersby helped emergency personnel put braces under the overturned Chevy Equinox to keep it from tipping over. Crews extricated Fredricks from the vehicle after the Ottawa Fire Department and Franklin County Emergency Medical Services personnel removed the windshield. The 83-year-old was moving and responsive when crews put him on the stretcher.

Quick reaction time helped Donnis Haight avoid turning the two-vehicle wreck into a three-vehicle incident, she said.

“I was coming through the light,” the Lane woman, who was on her way home, said. “I was almost in [the wreck] and I turned to go around that whole thing. It was just reaction.”

Haight said she and the driver of the Equinox had green lights at the time of the incident.

Haight was glad there were no major injuries in the wreck, she said.

About 50 people gathered in the area of the wreck to watch emergency crews progress. Julie Gorton, a Bank of the West employee, said while she didn’t actually see the crash because she was helping a customer, she heard the collision.

“It was a horrid noise inside the bank,” she said.

Gorton said she saw the Mercury Mountaineer coming toward the bank, as well as the Equinox flipping over.

Traffic was redirected for about two hours around the intersection while the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office crash team diagramed the incident.

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