4 kids killed in crash


December 5, 2019 - 8:50 AM

BELLEVILLE, Kan. (AP) — Four children killed in a Thanksgiving Day crash in Kansas had been headed with their mother and her boyfriend to a relative’s house when their sport utility vehicle overturned in wintry weather and landed on its top in a pond, authorities said.

A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper identified the children in a crash report released Tuesday night as 12-year-old Ronald Hyde, 9-year-old Travis Hyde, 4-year-old Aidan Lovelace and 9-month-old Axton Beck. The patrol said the baby was in a car seat.

The children’s mother, Jennifer Lovelace, 38, who was behind the wheel, was released from a hospital Tuesday.

“I know she is struggling very, very hard with it,” said her step-brother, Casey Salars. “But Jennifer has always been a very, very strong person, very loving. She loved her little boys.’’

Her boyfriend, Paul Bannister, also 38, was not seriously injured.

Trooper Ben Gardner said the roadway had icy spots and that a layer of snow was on the ground at the time of the crash in Republic County, near the state’s border with Nebraska. The wintry weather was part of a storm system that snarled traffic and canceled flights across a large swath of the country over the holiday weekend.

Gardner says the children and their mother were from Tularosa, New Mexico, and had recently moved to Scandia, Kansas.