A Lawrence minister and his wife died following a one-car accident that occurred as they drove from their church in Worden to a fellow church member's house Sunday afternoon.
The Rev. Paul W. Kasper, 88, and Leola E. Kasper, 84, suffered fatal injuries when their car slammed into a bridge abutment at 12:33 p.m. Sunday on Douglas County Road 400N, four-tenths of a mile west of County Road 1039.
The accident site is about 1 miles northwest of Worden, where the Kaspers had attended services Sunday morning at St. John's United Church of Christ. Worden is about 12 miles south of Lawrence.
Douglas County sheriff's officers reported that Mrs. Kasper was driving west on County Road 400N when the accident occurred.
This morning, officers said they were not sure why the car drifted off the road.
Mrs. Kasper was taken by Douglas County Ambulance Service to Lawrence Memorial Hospital and then was transported by Life Flight helicopter to the Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan.
Sheriff's officers were notified at 4 p.m. that Mrs. Kasper had died.
REV. KASPER was taken from the scene to Stormont-Vail hospital by Starflight helicopter. Officers were notified at 8:55 p.m. that he died.
One of the Kaspers' two sons, Paul Kasper of Ranger, Tex., today said his parents were on their way to a church member's house for lunch when the accident occurred. He said his parents' friends lived near the accident site and had gone ahead of the Kaspers to prepare the meal.
In a telephone interview from the Kasper's home in Lawrence, Paul Kasper said his father was the minister of St. John's church from 1967 to 1977. He said his parents remained involved with the church after his father retired.
"THEY REMAINED very, very close to the church," he said. "They found a home there."
Before taking the ministry at St. John's, Paul Kasper said, his father was a minister in Concordia, Mo., Alma and Hudson.
Paul Kasper said his father graduated from Eden Seminary in Webster Groves, Mo., on May 27, 1927, and married Mrs. Kasper the same day.
The Kaspers' other three children, Aloha Snyder, Marita Kasper and Eugene Kasper, all live in Topeka, Paul Kasper said.
The accident was the eighth traffic fatality reported in Douglas County this year.