News Briefs

Kansas prisoners injured in bus crash on way to Russell Stover job

By: and - August 17, 2023 8:04 am
Exterior view of Topeka Correctional Facility

Topeka Correctional Facility (Kansas Department of Corrections)

TOPEKA — Eight residents of the women’s prison in Topeka were injured early Thursday when a bus transporting them from the Russell Stover factory in Iola crashed into a semi-truck hauling dirt.

A spokesman for the Kansas Highway Patrol said the accident happened when the bus failed to stop at a stop sign, striking the semi-truck and sending it into a ditch around 1 a.m. Thursday. The accident occurred on US-169 highway north of Iola.

The inmates were heading back from their factory shift when the accident happened. While three of the women sustained bone fractures from the collision, all of the injured inmates are expected to recover. The only severely injured person appears to be the bus driver, who had to be air-lifted to a Kansas City hospital for treatment, the spokesman said.

David Thompson, spokesman for the Kansas Department of Corrections, said “those with injuries are being treated.” 

The other 13 inmates on the bus were sent back to the work site after undergoing examination at a local hospital, Thompson said. 

The state since 2021 has transported residents from the Topeka Correctional Facility to the candy factory as part of a work-release program. Last year, the bus crashed along U.S. Highway 169, but the crash didn’t result in serious injuries, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

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Rachel Mipro
Rachel Mipro

A graduate of Louisiana State University, Rachel Mipro has covered state government in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. She and her fellow team of journalists were 2022 Goldsmith Prize Semi-Finalists for their work featuring the rise of the KKK in northern Louisiana, following racially-motivated shootings in 1960. With her move to the Midwest, Rachel is now turning her focus toward issues within Kansas public policies.

Sherman Smith
Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith is the editor in chief of Kansas Reflector. He writes about things that powerful people don't want you to know. A two-time Kansas Press Association journalist of the year, his award-winning reporting includes stories about education, technology, foster care, voting, COVID-19, sex abuse, and access to reproductive health care. Before founding Kansas Reflector in 2020, he spent 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal. He graduated from Emporia State University in 2004, back when the school still valued English and journalism. He was raised in the country at the end of a dead end road in Lyon County.