A 19-year-old Overbrook man was killed in a two-vehicle accident Friday night east of Ottawa.
Jeremy Powell, a passenger on a motorcycle, died instantly after the motorcycle collided head-on with a 1978 Chevy Caprice, Kansas State Trooper Frank Reitmeyer said. The accident occurred at 10:37 p.m. Friday on Kansas Highway 68, 2 miles east of Ottawa.
Reitmeyer said the Caprice was attempting to pass a pickup truck driving westbound on the straight stretch of two-lane highway when the car struck the eastbound motorcycle. Reitmeyer said moderate rain was falling, which affected vision, depth perception and braking distance.
"The station wagon misjudged the distance and hit the motorcycle head-on," Reitmeyer said. "The motorcycle had no place to go."
"When I got there, it was just a lot of chaos," Reitmeyer said. "Both bodies from the motorcycle were in the ditch. The passenger was dead and the driver was conscious and barely breathing. Witnesses that saw it were pretty traumatized."
Reitmeyer said the driver of the motorcycle was "very, very lucky" to survive. Michael McGuire, 20, Osage County, suffered broken bones and other unspecified internal injuries. He was transported to Ransom Memorial Hospital in Ottawa, then transferred to Overland Park Regional Hospital. He was in stable condition as of Saturday evening.
The driver of the Caprice, 57-year-old Albert Bond, Ottawa, was uninjured. A passenger in the car, 11-year-old Robert White, Ottawa, was transported to Ransom Memorial Hospital for minor bruises from the seat belt. White was treated and released. Both Bond and White were wearing seat belts.
Reitmeyer said possible traffic charges for passing with insufficient room are pending. He said after he concludes his report, the case will be sent to the Franklin County District Attorney, who will determine if more serious charges will be filed.
The trooper said blood was taken from both drivers to determine if alcohol or drugs were involved. He didn't suspect they were.
Neither Powell nor McGuire were wearing helmets, Reitmeyer said.
"In this particular case," Reitmeyer said. "Helmets probably would not have helped. It had more to do with impact damage."
Jeremy "Jake" Powell was the son of John and Joy Powell of Overbrook. Powell attended Santa Fe Trail High School near Overbrook and received his GED. He was working as a residential framing carpenter in the Johnson and Miami county areas.
"We will miss his good heart and generous nature and how he was always there to give a helping hand," his mother, Joy Powell, said Saturday.