The 24-year-old victim of Wednesday morning’s fatal crash, north of Valley Falls, is identified as a Valley Falls school teacher. That word came in a message sent to parents of students at Atchison’s Saint Benedict Catholic School Wednesday.
The message, from Principal Diane Liebsch, was sent due to the Atchison students participating in Wednesday’s Kansas League Band Day at Valley Falls. She said Hannah Lager, confirmed as the victim by the Kansas Highway Patrol, is the wife of Benedictine College employee, Austin Lager. Liebsch was informed of the identity by Valley Falls Principal Susan Gray.
Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Don Hughes told MSC News the fatal wreck happened on K-4 Highway, at 170th Road. According to the report from the KHP, Lager, of Atchison, was southbound on the highway, traveling in the inside lane, attempting to pass a semi tractor-trailer, that was southbound in the far right lane, attempting to merge into the inside lane.
Lager attempted to pass in the opposing northbound lane, but over-corrected, and lost control of her Chevrolet Impala. The car began to skid counter-clockwise into the northbound lane of traffic, causing the semi to collide with the passenger side of Lager’s car. Lager was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the semi, 75-year-old Warren Hollis, of Valley Falls, was transported to Topeka’s Stormont Vail for the treatment of what the KHP report called a possible injury. Both drivers were wearing seat belts.
Brian Hagen of MSC News contributed this story.