Beloit Man Arrested In Fatal Hit-And-Run Accident East of Clay Center

An automobile crash east of Clay Center early Thursday morning turned fatal, as a hit-and-run crash was reported shortly before 7 a.m. on U.S. Highway 24 approximately a mile east of Clay Center.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says that a 1998 Chevrolet Silverado was eastbound on US 24 and crossed into the westbound lane and entered the north ditch. It struck a 2001 Buick Park Avenue that was northbound in a driveway. The Buick was driven by Dale Hammond, age 82, of Clay Center. Hammond was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Silverado, Jacob Tyler Zelinski, age 27, of Beloit fled the scene on foot, but was located and arrested a short time later. He was taken to the Clay Center hospital with minor injuries.

KHP reports that Zelinski wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, but Hammond was reported to be wearing a seatbelt.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
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 2020 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.


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