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UPDATE: Baxter Springs Man,72, Killed In Road Construction Accident On U.S. 166 Near Cowley Fishing Lake


Updated: Thursday, 8:40 p.m.

A Baxter Springs man was killed in a accident Thursday afternoon east of the Cowley State Fishing Lake.

The Kansas Highway Patrol identified the man, Billy Watson, Jr., Thursday night. He was 72.

Baxter Springs is located in Cherokee County in the southeast corner of Kansas near Joplin.

According to the KHP Crash Log, Watson was driving a 1973 Ford Ranchero westbound on U.S. 166, just west of 256th Road, when, at approximately 3:17 p.m., the vehicle side-swiped a street sweeper and lost control striking a road milling machine.

U.S. 166 is in the process of resurfacing work stretching from Ark City to the east border of Cowley County near Cedar Vale that began earlier this summer. The work was contracted to Cornejo & Sons by the Kansas Department of Transportation.

KHP listed no passengers with Watson. No other injuries were in the report.

KHP only makes its crash report public until after next of kin have been contacted, and reported it did so at 6:17 p.m.


ARK CITY — One person was confirmed dead at the scene Thursday afternoon east of Ark City in rural Cowley County following an accident with heavy road construction equipment.

The accident happened near the Cowley State Fishing Lake.

Road construction officials at the scene told KSOK a car ran into the back of a milling machine as crews were resurfacing the highway. The car ended up underneath the milling machine. A road worker at the scene said the car was going at least 70 mph, if not faster.

No other details about the accident or any other persons or injuries were released.

The highway near the lake and Grouse Valley Creek is expected to be closed for some time.

Kansas Highway Patrol is investigating the accident.

More information will be released as soon as it becomes available.