Accident Takes The Lives Of Blue Rapids & Clay Center Residents

A fatality accident early Friday morning shortly after 7 a.m. in Jefferson County, Kansas near Grantville claimed the life of two people including a Blue Rapids woman, Carla Rene Polson, age 65, and a Clay Center man, Gerald A. Baxter, age 66.

Baxter was the driver, with five other occupants in a van, which lost control, and overturned at the intersection of U.S. Highway 24 and Barton Road. Another vehicle had failed to yield, forcing the collision.

Four of the occupants of the van were Ruth M. Baxter, age 64, Robert Stewart, age 61, and Barbara Jean Stewart, age 61, all of Clay Center, and Martha M. Hanson, age 69, of Riley. One person was taken by helicopter, and three others transferred by ambulance with injuries sustained.

The driver and two children, ages 9 and 10, in the other vehicle, residents of Grantville, were not injured. The fatalities, including Carla Rene Polson of Blue Rapids and Gerald Baxter of Clay Center, and the injured parties were traveling to the Lansing prison Saturday morning to minister inmates.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communication. After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations. In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 90 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing.