Archive for Monday, January 12, 1998


January 12, 1998


A sheriff's report on a fatal accident Saturday in Eudora will be forwarded to the district attorney's office for review.

Authorities on Sunday identified a Eudora girl who died in the first traffic-related fatality in the county this year.

Nichole M. Peda, a 16-year-old Eudora High School sophomore, died Saturday after the vehicle she was riding in rolled on a gravel road east of Lawrence.

The driver of the car, Jonathan K. Cohen, 17, Eudora, was listed in stable condition Sunday night at Columbia Overland Park Regional Medical Center, where he was taken by helicopter.

Nichole's sister, Vanessa R. Peda, 13, Eudora, was treated at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and released.

The accident occurred just before 3 p.m. about four miles east of Lawrence on North 1500 Road.

Authorities believe the accident happened during horseplay with another car.

Witnesses said the 1979 Ford the teens were riding in was traveling west at an excessive rate of speed with another vehicle, a 1990 Ford F-150 pickup, following close behind, said Douglas County Sheriff's Sgt. Blake McCall.

Greg S. Reed, 19, Tonganoxie, was driving the pickup, with a passenger, Gary D. Harkins, 15, Tonganoxie.

McCall said both groups of teens, who knew each other, had apparently been playing basketball in Eudora when they decided to drive to Lawrence.

"According to witnesses, they were passing each other and going fast," he said.

The car skidded on the gravel road, hit a muddy shoulder and rolled at least once.

No citations or arrests had been made as of Sunday night, but investigators will forward accident reports to the Douglas County district attorney's office for review of possible charges, McCall said.

He said it appeared that none of the injured teens was wearing a seat belt.

Meanwhile, authorities said another accident on Sunday afternoon in Baldwin may have been caused by similar circumstances.

Nathan Kring, Baldwin, and John Clark, Lawrence, were in a vehicle that struck a tree about 2 p.m. at 417 E. Eighth. They were in a vehicle that was following another car when the first car went out of control, left the road and nearly struck a house, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical Battalion Chief Rob Kort said.

The second vehicle struck the tree nearby.

Kring and Clark were treated at LMH and released. Their ages were not available.

Three people in the first car and one in the second car refused medical treatment.

Baldwin police, who handled Sunday's accident, could provide no additional information.

  • An obituary for Nichole Peda appears on page 3B.

-- Mike Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is

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