Gas Leak/Car Wreck: Neighborhood Evacuated in NW Wichita

Ted Woodward
January 18, 2018 - 1:34 pm



A neighborhood had to be evacuated in the middle of the night, after a van rammed into an unoccupied house in the northwest part of Wichita.

It happened at 2:30 a.m. Thursday on 17th Street North near 119th Street West; emergency crews responded to the report of a building collapse at a residence. A 25-year-old man was driving home, behind the wheel of a Ford Ecoline that he did not own; he was south-bound on Chambers Street when he slammed into a house on 17th.

The driver also struck the gas meter at the home, sheering off the gas line and allowing natural gas to fill the home and the area. The Wichita Fire Department and utility workers from Kansas Gas Service responded to the scene to address the leak.

People in the neighborhood in a 500-foot radius were evacuated, and after about three hours were able to return to their homes.

Police believe alcohol was a factor in this crash; the driver was given a blood-alcohol test at the scene.

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