Storm claims two lives in separate weather-related crashes on Interstate 70 in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. - The Kansas Highway Patrol says the latest blast of winter weather has caused two deadly crashes in the state.

A woman was killed Monday night when the pickup truck she was riding in slid on an icy patch and rolled off of Interstate 70, in Ellis County, according to authorities. Three people were injured. The victim's name has not been released.

The patrol says 21-year-old Carlos Esqueda of Kansas City, Kan., died when the SUV he was driving hit an icy patch and overturned on I-70 in Sherman County, near the Colorado border, just before 9 a.m. Monday.

Patrol superintendent Col. Ernest Garcia says Esqueda was not wearing a seat belt. A passenger who was buckled in survived the crash.

"We urge everyone to avoid travel and be extremely cautious if you must be on the roads," Garcia said in a news release.

Garcia says a trooper working another accident in northwest Kansas escaped injury when someone struck his vehicle Monday.

Brownback says roads leading from southwest Kansas into the Oklahoma Panhandle were closed at the request of Oklahoma.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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