Amy Cunningham
Police are still hoping to question the driver of a pickup truck as a possible witness to last Wednesday evening’s collision between a passenger car and a truck on U.S. 56 Highway that took the lives of two Gardner residents.
“We’re still looking for more witnesses, especially if they saw the activity of the vehicles prior to the accident and we still have not located that other pickup truck,” said Lieutenant Mike Pfannensteil of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department.
As Lisa, Hailey and Cooper Apperson, three of the car’s four occupants, continue to recover from their injuries sustained in the car crash, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department Accident Reconstruction Team works to solve the mystery of events that unfolded prior to the wreck that cut short the lives of 13-year-old Hannah Apperson and 63-year-old Milton Whaley, the lone occupant of the truck.
According to information provided by Chris Dowell, Lisa Apperson’s brother, Hailey and Cooper Apperson were released from the hospital on Monday evening.  Lisa remains hospitalized at Overland Park Regional Medical Center and will undergo further surgery this week.
Police are seeking the driver of a light colored, full-size pickup with two bumper stickers – one on the rear bumper with a picture of Dale Earnhardt and the other on the back window that reads “In Memory of Dale Earnhardt.”  The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department is calling the driver of the truck a witness to the accident.
Because the collision happened on a busy stretch of highway during rush hour traffic the department is confident that witnesses will continue to come forward and provide helpful information about the accident and events that led up to it.
To contact the Sheriff’s Department with information about the wreck call the TIPS Hotline at (816)474-TIPS or call the office at (913)715-5560.
The accident occurred just after 5 p.m. Wednesday evening when a westbound pick-up truck, driven by Whaley, and an eastbound passenger car, driven by Lisa Apperson collided.
Thirteen-year-old Hannah Apperson, a passenger in the car, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Whaley, the driver of the truck, suffered critical injuries after being ejected from his vehicle.  He was transported to Overland Park Regional Hospital where he later died from his injuries.
Two area banks have established funds to help defray accident-related costs for the Apperson family.
Donations can be directed to Central National Bank care of “The Apperson Family Fund” or “Apperson Benefit Fund” at Gardner National Bank.
Central National Bank Main
205 N. Moonlight
Gardner, KS 66030
Phone (913) 856-3201
Fax (913) 856-3220
Central National Bank Wal-mart
1725 E. Santa Fe
Gardner, KS 66030
Gardner National Bank
840 E. Main
Gardner, KS 66030
Phone (913) 856-7199
Fax (888) 775-6956
In addition, the Gardner Shell Station is taking up a collection to provide the family with gas cards so that they can shuffle between doctor’s appointments and any needs related to the accident.  Money can be taken to:
Xpress Shell Station
29550 West 191st St
Gardner, KS 66030
Phone (913) 856 – 8955
Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Doug Whaley to the Whaley Memorial Fund in care of  Whaley’s funeral and visitation occurred earlier this week. Funeral services have not yet been set for Hannah Apperson.