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Wife of state lawmaker dies after being struck, dragged by SUV in Wichita store parking lot


WICHITA, Kansas — The wife of a state representative from Wichita died Thursday after being struck and dragged by a vehicle in a supermarket parking lot.

Annette Hedke, 60, the wife of Republican Rep. Dennis Hedke of Wichita, died in the accident Thursday at a Dillon's parking lot, said Rachel Whitten, spokeswoman for House Speaker Ray Merrick.

She fell near her car in the lot and was on the ground when an SUV pulled out and hit her. Police said she was dragged 15 feet and pinned beneath the SUV. The driver did not see her because she was on the ground.

Police Lt. James Espinoza says the driver stopped and witnesses helped the victim. He said it was too early to determine why Hedke fell.

Rep. Hedke was in a committee hearing Thursday morning when he was told of his wife's death and left for Wichita shortly after.

His colleagues expressed their condolences.

"We're all heartbroken. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dennis and his family," House Majority Leader Jene Vickrey, R-Louisburg, told The Wichita Eagle.

Rep. Les Osterman, R-Wichita, a close friend of Hedke's, said he was still coming to grip with the news. He said he understood the situation because he lost his first wife suddenly in 2003.

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