A 75-year-old Eudora woman who died early Thursday afternoon in an automobile accident near Lawrence may have become lost and then panicked before the accident occurred, the woman's son said.
Marion Pachella was pronounced dead at Lawrence Memorial Hospital from injuries she suffered in the accident, which occurred at 12:35 p.m. on U.S. Highway 40 at the intersection of Douglas County Road 13. The accident location is about 2 miles west of Lawrence.
A Kansas Highway Patrol dispatcher said that before the accident, Pachella had positioned her car parallel to U.S. 40 at the entrance to County Road 900E, a gravel road that runs north of the intersection.
Pachella, whose car was facing west, was starting to make a U-turn on Highway 40 when her car was struck by a dump truck. The truck, which was westbound, slammed into the driver's side of Pachella's car.
The truck, driven by Robert E. Cassella, 35, Lawrence, pushed Pachella's car several yards west of the intersection before the vehicles came to a stop. There were no passengers in either vehicle, and Cassella was not injured.
PACHELLA was taken by Douglas County Ambulance Service to LMH. She was pronounced dead at 1:22 p.m.
The dump truck was loaded with several large rocks from a construction site at Sixth and Iowa.
Charles Pachella of Lawrence, Mrs. Pachella's son, said he knows of no reason his mother would have been driving on U.S. 40. But he believes his mother may have become lost while looking for his daughter's west Lawrence home.
"My assumption is she got lost," he said, adding that his mother has become lost in Lawrence before. "And when she would get lost like that, she would panic."
IN ADDITION to her son, Charles, Mrs. Pachella is survived by another son, Robert Pachella of Ypsilanti, Mich.; a sister, Nancy Johnson of Seaside Heights, N.J.; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
She was born March 12, 1915, at Glasgow, Scotland. Mrs. Pachella had lived in Franklin Lake, N.J., before moving to Eudora in 1975.
She was a homemaker.
She maried Charles J. Pachella on April 18, 1936, in Patterson, N.J. He died Aug. 5, 1984.
The family will receive friends from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Warren-McElwain Mortuary. No formal services are planned. Cremation is planned.