UPDATE: Valerie Portillo, 16 also passed away from injuries which occurred in the wreck. Two of the children are in Wichita hospitals being treated for severe injuries.
By LARRY PHILLIPS
• Leader & Times
A Plains woman died Thursday night when the SUV she was driving overturned in a ditch just west of Meade on U.S. Highway 54. Four children who were passengers in the vehicle were also injured in the crash.
Patricia Delatorre, 33, Plains, was driving a 2001 Chevy Tahoe westbound on U.S. Hwy. 54, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol Report, when she attempted to use the passing lane to pass two other westbound vehicles. The report noted as the passing lane ended, the other vehicles merged back into two lanes and her car “went into the eastbound ditch and overturned.”
The accident occurred at 7:39 p.m. at Mile Post No. 40, or 3.6 miles west of Meade.
The children, ranging in ages from 4 to 16 were also injured and sent to various hospitals.
A 4-year-old boy was transported to Southwest Medical Center in Liberal. A 6-year-old girl had to be transported to Via Christi in Wichita.
Two girls, 12 and 16, were taken to Meade District Hospital for treatment.
The report noted the two eldest girls and the 4-year-old boy were wearing seatbelts, while the driver and the 6-year-old girl were not.