Carl Trybom was startled Saturday morning when he heard a "loud boom" somewhere outside his house north of Lawrence.
Trybom, 85, looked out one of his windows and didn't see anything. About an hour later, he drew the drapes and looked out a front window.
"Land sakes, there was a truck wrapped around a tree," Trybom said.
Inside the truck, Kansas Highway Patrol troopers and Douglas County Sheriff's officers found Alvin E. Stowe, 60, of Lawrence. Stowe, who was driving the truck, was dead at the scene, law enforcement officials said.
Stowe was southbound on U.S. Highways 24 and 59, 1 1/2 miles north of Lawrence, when his 1999 Chevrolet pickup truck left the highway, traveled through a wire fence and struck two trees, the Kansas Highway Patrol said. The truck came to rest against the second tree.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation. Stowe's body was taken to the Shawnee County Coroner's office, which also handles autopsies for Douglas County.
Although snow and ice had been pushed to the side of the highway, the highway itself was not icy.
Trybom, who has lived in the house for 40 years, has seen similar accidents on his property. About 10 years ago a car with four people in it left the highway, hit a utility pole and came to a stop on top of a gas meter in Trybom's yard.
"There were flames shooting up all around, but they all got out without being hurt," Trybom said.