May 20, 2020 11:35 AM

AAA: Memorial Day travel likely record low

Posted May 20, 2020 11:35 AM

By NICK GOSNELL

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — AAA is expecting lots less travel for Memorial Day.

"AAA is expecting this Memorial Day weekend travel volume to set a record low since we began tracking the statistics in 2000," said Shawn Steward with AAA Kansas. "Last year, 43 million Americans traveled for Memorial Day weekend, which was the second highest travel volume on record."

COVID-19 has made it hard to know what is open and what is not to travel much distance.

"With social distancing guidelines still in place in a lot of locations and people just a little unsure about where things are, we think a lot of people will be staying home this Memorial Day weekend or staying very close to home," Steward said.

Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, AAA doesn't have a good estimate for how much the travel number will drop for the weekend, but people are still planning their vacations for later in the year.

"AAA travel online bookings have been rising, although modestly, since mid-April," Steward said. "Travelers are really starting to gain some confidence and start thinking about where they want to be traveling possibly this summer and fall."

Steward says trips within the region will likely come back first.

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May 20, 2020 11:35 AM
UPDATED: Injury accident closes portion of US-50 for several hours Tuesday

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — An accident on Highway 50 Tuesday morning sent two people to the hospital.

According to the Reno County Sheriff's Office, at 7:34 a.m. Tuesday, a deputy was dispatched to the 7600 block of East U.S. 50 where 22-year-old Chase Wahquahboshkuk-Kramer of Mayetta was driving a white 2013 Jeep Patriot and passed a 2017 black Honda Accord driven by 42-year-old Elizabeth Touzel of Hutchinson.

The Mayetta woman began driving erratically after passing, crossed the center line and continued into the westbound lane, where she collided head on with a semi. The 2011 semi was driven by 56-year-old Phillip Adams of Orrick, Mo.

Wahquahboshkuk-Kramer’s vehicle then collided with Touzel's vehicle. The semi exited the roadway and ended up in the north ditch. Touzel's vehicle exited the roadway and ended up in the south ditch. Wahquahboshkuk-Kramer's vehicle remained on the roadway.

Wahquahboshkuk-Kramer was wearing her seatbelt. The airbags deployed, and she was trapped in her vehicle. She was airlifted to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.

Touzel was transported by Reno County EMS to the Hutchinson Regional Medical Center for treatment of her injuries. She was wearing her seat belt at the time of the accident and airbags deployed.

Adams sustained minor injuries and declined treatment by EMS. He was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident.

Both lanes of U.S. 50 were opened back up around 3 p.m. Tuesday. The accident is still under investigation.