Details Released In Fatal Thanksgiving Day Republic County Accident

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The Kansas Highway Patrol released details this week regarding a one-vehicle crash in Republic County that took the life of four youth from New Mexico on Thanksgiving.

At approximately 10:40 a.m. November 28th, Jennifer Lovelace, 38, of Tularosa, New Mexico was traveling north on 30th Road near U.S. Highway 36 in a 1994 Toyota when she lost control of the vehicle. The car rolled into a pond with the top submerged.

Lovelace was taken to the hospital in Belleville, with suspected serious injuries. Passenger Paul Bannister, 38, of Alamogordo, New Mexico was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Other passengers in the car, 12-year-old Ronald T.S. Hyde, 9-year-old Travis Hyde, 4-year-old Aiden M.L. Lovelace, and 9-month old Axton Beck were all killed in the crash. According to the KHP report, both Ronald and Travis Hyde were not wearing seat belts. Aiden Lovelace was properly restrained, and Axton Beck was properly restrained in an infant carrier. Jennifer Lovelace was wearing her seat belt, but passenger Paul Bannister was not.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.