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Uncertainty compounds fiery crash

Staff writer

A Wichita woman apparently so inebriated that she didn’t know whether she was alone or had passengers in her car drove through a barbed wire fence early Sunday along 190th Rd. west of Pawnee Rd., across a pasture, and into a tree.

Her car burst into flames and was fully engulfed when Marion firefighters, Marion ambulance, and sheriff’s deputies responded to the 12:37 a.m. call.

Fire chief Chris Killough said the first people on the scene found the driver, identified in police broadcasts as Zoee M. Stoehl, 19, crawling away from her car.

She told them two passengers might be trapped inside.

“She was just hammered,” Killough said. “She didn’t even know if there were others in the car.”

Six firefighters rushed to the scene to attempt to rescue those who might have been trapped inside.

Killough’s attention was on the fire, not the driver who was safely away from it. He did notice she had “a pretty good gash” on the head.

“She went into a T-post, and I think that’s what got her,” Killough said.

Marion ambulance took her on an emergency basis to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.

Deputies asked state troopers and Sedgwick County deputies to get a blood sample at Wesley.

It took firefighters nearly three hours to get the fire out and get back to the station. The car was leaking gasoline, which caused firefighters to have to linger at the scene, Killough said.

Sheriff Jeff Soyez said an accident report was not completed as of press time.

Last modified June 7, 2023

 

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