Archive for Wednesday, January 2, 1991


January 2, 1991


The number of fatal accidents in Lawrence and Douglas County in 1990 was down from the total in 1989, police and sheriff's officers report.

Nine people lost their lives in eight automobile accidents on county roads in 1990, compared to 11 fatalities in 1989.

The number of drownings in area lakes and rivers also was down from seven in 1989 to just one in 1990.

The county's first fatal accident of 1990 occurred Jan. 19, when a 21-year-old Independence, Ky., man died after his car went off a road about two miles west of Lawrence, overturned and struck a utility pole. The man, Brian S. Robinson, had been working as a construction worker for a local industrial contracting company.

Icy and hazardous road conditions on Feb. 4 were blamed for an accident in which Theresa Benson, 36, Kansas City, Mo., was killed. The accident occurred on Kansas Highway 10 about nine miles east of Lawrence. Benson's vehicle went out of control, slid across the highway median and struck, head-on, another vehicle.

AUTHORITIES in March determined that Christopher Bread, a 19-year-old Lawrence Native American who was found dead about a mile east of the Lawrence city limits on East 15th Street, had been the victim of a hit-and-run automobile accident on March 2. Douglas County sheriff's officers continued their investigation of Bread's mysterious death into 1991.

Other fatal automobile accidents during 1990 in the county included:

Aug. 12 Carleen Deann Eubank, 16, Lawrence, was injured in a two-vehicle accident one mile south of Lawrence on U.S. Highway 59. She was hospitalized at Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., where she died Sept. 1.

Aug. 21 Alan W. Stoddard, 29, Topeka, died in a one-vehicle accident about 4 miles west of Lawrence on U.S. Highway 40. Stoddard was driving a 1982 Yamaha motorcycle west on the highway when he lost control of the vehicle on a curve, sheriff's officers reported. Stoddard was not wearing a motorcycle helmet.

SEPT. 10 Larry D. Hood, 35, Lawrence, died in a one-vehicle accident that may have occurred after he tried to avoid a deer on Douglas County Road 458 about three miles south of Lawrence. Hood lost control of the vehicle and was thrown from it, officers reported.

Oct. 21 Jess Souders, 23, Eudora, died after losing control of his vehicle and swerving into a ditch on Douglas County Road 1055, about 2 miles south of County Road 920-N. Souders had been thrown from the vehicle.

Nov. 11 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. The Rev. Paul W. Kasper, 88, and Leola E. Kasper, 84, suffered fatal injuries when their car hit a bridge abutment on Douglas County Road 400N, about 1 miles northwest of Worden.

ANOTHER MAN, James O. Wilson, 36, 2608 Rawhide, died after being injured in an accident near 23rd and Learnard streets within the city limits. Wilson was transported to the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., where he died July 21.

In a fatal boating accident, Anna M. Hay, 66, Jamestown, Ky., was found drowned under a boat that capsized April 24 in choppy waters in Clinton Lake. Hay and her son, Helmut B. Hay, 41, 3428 Lazybrook Ln., had gone fishing and were heading back to shore when their boat was overturned by a large wave caused by strong winds.

A train took the life of a 6-year-old Lawrence boy on Aug. 21. Freeman Edwards was struck and killed by a train after he apparently was walking on Union Pacific tracks and panicked as a train approached. The accident occurred just north of Lawrence near U.S. Highway 24-40.

TWO MEN also died in Lawrence in 1990 after falling from tall structures.

Rollie L. Ellis Jr., 48, New Strawn, died April 16 after falling 30 to 35 feet from an electric power pole located about a half-mile north of U.S. Highway 24-40 on Douglas County Road 1600E. Ellis may have unhooked his safety strap while performing routine maintenance on an electrical line for KPL Gas Service.

Another man, William Rich, 25, Boulder, Colo., died Dec. 20 after falling from the third story of an apartment building at 1115 La. Lawrence police said Rich may have been scaling the building in an attempt to locate the apartment of a former girlfriend.

In another accident, a 29-year-old St. Joseph, Mo., man died when he was electrocuted near the Lawrence KPL energy plant Sept. 19. Ronald W. Schaffer was electrocuted when a drilling rig he was operating struck a high-voltage wire. The accident also knocked out power to much of the city for about an hour.

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