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Ellis man dies in fall from moving car

10/7/2013

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

ZURICH -- A 23-year-old Ellis man died early Monday morning from injuries he suffered after falling from the hood of a moving car in the far northwest corner of Ellis County.

The victim was identified as Roland Albert Rummel, 23, Ellis, according to a statement issued by Ellis County Undersheriff Bruce Hertel.

He died as a result of injuries he suffered when he was run over by the vehicle he had been riding in.

While it's still unclear why, Rummel apparently exited the vehicle and then jumped onto the hood of the car while it was still in motion.

The driver of the vehicle, Austin M. Fox, 25, Hays, hit the brakes and Rummel fell off into the path of the vehicle, and was run over by the still moving vehicle.

Fox was arrested at the scene for driving under the influence and transporting an open container, and was taken to the Ellis County Jail. A third person, Garret J. Vandenberg, 21, Elis, was in the car, but was not injured.

While the accident was first reported at about 6:34 p.m. Sunday, in a call to the Trego County Sheriff's office, the exact location wasn't known other than being perhaps close to U.S. Highway 283 in either Trego or Graham county.

About an hour later, the accident was finally located by a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper less than a mile south of the Ellis-Rooks county line on 140th Avenue -- about 20 miles west of U.S. 283.

Hertel said the investigation into the accident is still ongoing, and it's not yet clear why Rummel was riding on the hood of the car.

Although unrelated, it's been just two weeks since 21-year-old Brittnie J. Walker, Longmont, Colo., was sentenced in connection with charges surrounding the death of 20-year-old Jordan Dale Schreurs.

He died in June after falling from the roof of a car Walker was driving on a county road southwest of Hays. In a move known as surfing, Schreurs was riding on the top of the car as it was moving.

Walker pleaded guilty to a series of charges, including a felony charge of attempted failure to report an accident resulting in death and a misdemeanor charge of vehicular homicide.

She was sentenced to 48 months in prison, although she will be spending two year's on community corrections.