Couple with area connections killed in Kansas crash

McPHERSON, Kan. – An Alexandria, Minn. couple killed in a fiery rollover crash near McPherson, Kan., were originally from Winthrop and Gibbon.

The accident happened at 3:55 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, according to a crash log. The accident occurred just north of McPherson on I-135, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Dianne Kay Pautz, 69, was driving a 2004 Ford Expedition northbound on I-135, with Gary Walter Pautz, 70, in the passenger seat. A 2014 Nissan Rogue also traveling northbound attempted to pass the Pautz vehicle, cutting it off.

The Expedition struck the back of the Rogue, which caused it to swerve, according to the log. The vehicle entered the west ditch, rolled and caught fire, Gardner said.

The Pautzes were pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Rogue, Pamela Pierce, 56, of Hutchinson, was listed as having a “possible injury,” according to the crash log.

According to acquaintances, Gary Pautz was a graduate of Gibbon High School, and Dianne Pautz was a graduate of Winthrop High School.

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