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Equipment testing to be done in loose-trailer crash that killed Hutchinson couple

Published on -8/25/2014, 4:46 PM

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By Rick Plumlee

The Wichita Eagle

(MCT) Great Bend police are requesting special testing of equipment to help to determine what caused a trailer to come loose and kill a Hutchinson couple riding a motorcycle on Aug. 16.

The ball and hitch on the pickup being used in pulling the trailer will be sent to a lab, possibly the one operated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, police Lt. Bill Browne told The Eagle on Monday.

"We want to see how how much wear and tear that's actually on the ball and hitch to determine how much movement we have in it," he added. "We want to make sure everything was working properly."

Shawn and Danielle Schellenger, the parents of two young children, died after the trailer came loose from the pickup and struck their motorcycle near the Great Bend city limits. The 6-by-12-foot trailer was hauling a riding lawnmower.

Further testing is being done after police met last week with the Barton County Attorney's Office.

"They've asked us to do a little more follow-up, more reinterviewing," Browne said.

The investigation is expected to be concluded in the next week, he said. The information will then be sent to County Attorney Doug Matthews for consideration of possible charges.

Alcohol use was not involved in the crash, he added.

(c)2014 The Wichita Eagle

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