Two killed Wednesday in Franklin County crash

FRANKLIN COUNTY — Two people were killed early Wednesday in a two-vehicle crash in Franklin County, authorities said.

The crash was reported at 7:13 a.m. on K-68 highway about 8 miles east of Ottawa.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 1998 Volkswagen Passat was eastbound on K-68 when the driver lost control and struck a steel guard rail. The Volkswagen veered into the westbound lane of traffic, where it was struck on both passenger-side doors by a 2018 Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle.

Both vehicles came to rest on their wheels, with the Volkswagen facing east and the Explorer facing southwest in the westbound lanes.

The driver of the Volkswagen, James Gregory Tracy, 67, and a passenger, Harry Ray Mock Jr., 14, both of Rantoul, were pronounced dead at the scene. The patrol said Tracy and Mock were wearing their seat belts.

The driver of the Explorer, Erica Loriene Drinkard, 40, of Paola, was reported to have minor injuries and was transported to Overland Park Regional Medical Center. The patrol said Drinkard was wearing her seat belt.

 

Defendant sentenced for biting police officer

LEAVENWORTH — A Leavenworth man who bit a police officer has been sentenced to 19 months in prison, according to a prosecution official.

Lajuan Lowery, 32, was sentenced Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court for charges of battering a law enforcement officer, interference with law enforcement and theft.

The crimes reportedly occurred in April in Leavenworth.

Lowery reportedly was seen stealing items from a convenience store. Two officers later saw Lowery, who matched a description of the theft suspect who had been seen leaving the store.

The officers attempted to stop Lowery, but he ran away, according to Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson.

Officers eventually stopped Lowery at 10th and Miami streets. Lowery reportedly resisted the officers, biting one of them on the hand and drawing blood.

As an officer attempted to use a Taser on Lowery, he grabbed the device. This resulted in three officers being stunned by the device, according to Thompson.

Lowery, who represented himself during his trial, was convicted in September.