Rollover accident claims life of 17 year-old Dundy County/Stratton student
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Dundy County/Stratton junior Christopher Kirby of Benkelman was driving to the hospital in Imperial Friday afternoon, April 4, to see his mother who had given birth to a new baby.
Tragically, he never made it. Kirby lost control of his northbound 1986 white Ford Ranger on Hwy. 61, south of Enders Lake near the Chase/Dundy County line.
Chase County Sheriff Kevin Mueller said Kirby was the lone occupant of the vehicle and was not wearing a seat belt. The vehicle rolled several times and Kirby was ejected in the rollover. Kirby was dead at the scene.
Mueller said it appeared Kirby’s vehicle went off the east edge of the road. He suspected Kirby lost control after over-correcting when he tried to pull the vehicle back on the road, causing it to roll.
Mueller added that speed was a factor in the accident.
In addition to the sheriff’s office, Imperial EMS and the Imperial Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene. Friday’s emergency call came in at 2:47 p.m.
A junior at DCS high school
According to the Benkelman Post, Kirby was headed to the Chase County Hospital to see his mother, who had given birth to a new baby boy on Wednesday. Due to health issues after the delivery, the baby had been flown out.
Kirby, who would have turned 18 on April 10, attended high school at Dundy County/Stratton Schools in Benkelman.
The Post said Kirby was well liked by the students and teachers that got to know him. He worked at Hometown Market and could often be seen walking his dog around town.
As of Tuesday, all arrangements and services were still pending. Benkelman Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.