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2 killed in head-on crash on US-50

Staff writer

A former Peabody teacher and a Peabody native died in a head-on collision Thursday morning on a foggy section of US-50 west of Union Rd., between Peabody and Florence.

According to Kansas Highway Patrol, an eastbound 2017 GMC Acadia driven by Travis Flasschoen, 41, of Florence crossed the centerline and collided head-on with a westbound 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe driven by John M. Ireland, 71, Cottonwood Falls.

Family members told reporters news that Ireland had been en route to watch his grandson, Palmer Welsh, 17, play in a Central Links golf tournament.

Despite learning of his grandfather’s death just before he teed off in the tournament, Palmer played because he knew his grandfather would have wanted him to.

He finished in first place.

Ireland was a former English teacher, athletic director, coach, and principal at Peabody-Burns Junior / Senior High School. He worked at Peabody schools 20 years, from 1976 to 1996.

“Coach is probably the best way to summarize him, because he was coach for various sports over the years,” former Peabody-Burns student Steve Meirowsky said. “When I was in school, he was my golf coach, he was assistant, then head coach of football, and he was girls’ basketball coach for a while.”

Ireland’s funeral will be 10 a.m. Thursday at Chase County Junior / Senior High School gymnasium in Cottonwood Falls.

Flasschoen is a Peabody native whose mother, stepfather, and grandmother still live there. He was a 2001 graduate of Peabody-Burns High School.

According to his obituary, he was a Florence resident although his driver’s license continued to list a Wichita address.

He was a longtime member of First Baptist Church, where his funeral is scheduled for July 1.

“He grew up one of four children in the family,” pastor Roger Charles said.

Flasschoen and his wife moved away for a time but were remodeling a house in Florence, Charles said.

Authorities were alerted to the accident at 6:25 a.m. by an automated crash detector.

One driver was dead when deputy Bruce Burke arrived. The other died while being treated inside Marion ambulance. Because of fog, helicopter ambulances were not available.

Last modified June 26, 2024

 

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