Archive for Tuesday, June 22, 1993

DRIVER LUCKIER THAN BUILDING TRUCK STRUCK

June 22, 1993

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The driver of a delivery truck that crashed into a North Lawrence building Monday morning escaped with only a few cuts and bruises.

But the building appears to have sustained major damage. The building, which houses Walburn's Furniture Co., 230 Locust, has been boarded up, and the area around the building has been cordoned off with police tape.

Leroy Walburn, who owns the two-story, stone, stucco and wood-frame building, said he's not sure if it can be repaired. The truck knocked out the main supports and the ceiling "is hanging by a thread."

The chimney in the back of the 1927-era building was knocked out, and the roof was twisted. A contractor was to look over the structure today to let him know if it could be rebuilt.

Walburn, who collects antique radios, said about half of his collection of 50 to 60 battery-operated radios in the attic of the structure were damaged when the truck crashed into the building.

The driver of the truck, John David Ray, 26, Independence, Mo., was pinned in the vehicle for about two hours after the collision, which occurred about 9 a.m. Monday. Ray was treated for back pain and cuts on his face at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence police said today.

Witnesses told police the truck, owned by Liberty Fruit Co., Kansas City, Mo., was traveling west on Locust and attempted to turn left onto North Third when it ran into the building.

Police said they determined that the truck was traveling at 46.37 mph when the driver tried to make the turn.

Police said Ray told them he had lost pressure in his brakes and couldn't make the turn. Ray had estimated he was going 20 to 25 mph.

No citations were issued.

The truck was removed from the scene Monday afternoon, neighboring business owners reported.

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