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Kansas Trooper Critical After Cruiser Rear-Ended

Kansas Highway Patrol trooper seriously injured Tuesday night when his patrol car was rear-ended while stopped behind a semi on the shoulder of the Kansas Turnpike in east Wichita remains in critical condition at a local hospital, authorities said.

The trooper, 36-year-old Davon Brame, is "very lucky" to be alive, Lt. John Lehnherr said.

Brame had pulled over a semi for inspection on the shoulder of the northbound lanes of the turnpike near the Kellogg interchange, officials have said, when his patrol car was rear-ended at about 7:05 p.m. by a Toyota Tundra driven by a 23-year-old Haysville man.

The force of the impact pushed the trooper's Crown Victoria into the back of the semi, Lehnherr said. Brame was inside the patrol car at the time of the crash.

He was taken to Wesley Medical Center, where he is in critical condition.

"His condition is improving and not considered to be life threatening," Rachel Bell, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Turnpike Authority, said in an e-mail response to questions. "They believe he could be released in a day or two. Right now, they are wanting mostly to observe his condition very closely."

Brame has been with the highway patrol for 11 years and assigned to the turnpike authority for two years, Lehnherr said.

It appears the patrol car was hit "at highway speed," he said. The speed limit for the turnpike is 75 miles an hour.

Investigators plan to download information from the Tundra's module to determine the vehicle's actual speed and whether the driver applied the brakes prior to impact, Lehnherr said. No citations have been issued at this point.

Turnpike officials stressed the importance of traffic moving over to the next lane when law enforcement, emergency personnel or construction and maintenance workers are working.

Copyright 2014 - The Wichita Eagle

McClatchy-Tribune News Service