PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) — An assistant professor at Pittsburg State University who was a principal researcher for a NASA project on black holes died in a traffic accident in southeast Kansas.

The Joplin Globe reports (http://bit.ly/RNeHE1 ) that 50-year-old Alexander Konopelko died in the two-car crash east of Pittsburg on Friday. The Crawford County Sheriff's Department says Konopelko's wife, Tatiana, and 11-year-old daughter Nicole, were also injured in the crash, which occurred as the family's car was making a U-turn at an intersection and pulled into the path of a westbound vehicle.

Konopelko arrived at Pittsburg State in 2008 from Purdue University. His research team recently received a $140,000 grant from NASA to try to understand black holes.

He was collaborating with about 100 scientists from institutions across the U.S. on the project.


Information from: The Joplin Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com