Hwy 69 wreck kills two


“Shrek” cast photo. Recently deceased PHS student Derek Brumbaugh, playing Pinocchio, is on the right end of the top row. BY FRIENDS OF PITTSBURG HIGH SCHOOL PERFORMING ARTS


A Feb. 28 two-vehicle highway crossover-wreck killed both drivers, including a Pittsburg High School senior.

Derek Brumbaugh, 17, a well-known PHS drama program participant, died along with David Kessler, 56, a Kearney, Missouri, resident. Brumbaugh’s passenger, Aspen Lloyd, 16, also a PHS student, suffered injuries. She is in stable condition at Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, according to family and friends on social media.

The accident occurred on U.S. Highway 69 near Arcadia and the 710th Avenue turnoff, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol online crash log. The log indicates Brumbaugh’s 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix, southbound on 69, crossed the center line and struck the 2002 Chevy Silverado driven by Kessler. Brumbaugh and Lloyd each wore seatbelts, but “heavy front end damage” to the Grand Prix caused Brumbaugh’s death at the scene.

The Facebook page Friends of Pittsburg High School Performing Arts published a statement on Brumbaugh’s death on the evening of Feb. 28. Brumbaugh recently appeared in the troupe’s rendition of “Shrek” on the weekend of Feb. 19 to Feb. 21, playing Pinocchio.

“It is with gut-wrenching sadness that we share that PHS officials have confirmed Senior Derek Brumbaugh was killed in a car wreck today,” the statement reads. “The school is open with grief counselors available for students who wish to be together this evening.”