Archive for Sunday, December 18, 2005

Snow brings dozens of wrecks

December 18, 2005


Two inches of snow blanketed Lawrence and the area Saturday morning and afternoon, causing a hazard for drivers with still more snow expected to fall overnight.

Law enforcement officers in Douglas County during the day Saturday reported 57 noninjury accidents and seven injury accidents, most in the Lawrence area. None of the injuries sustained were major, said Mark Elliott, acting battalion chief for Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical.Authorities continued to caution motorists about driving today, especially with the National Weather Service predicting an additional one to three inches to fall in Lawrence.

"The streets are slick, snow-packed," said Lawrence Police spokesman Sgt. Mark Warren. "People need to be careful out there."

A 32-year-old Ozawkie woman died Saturday morning after her vehicle slid off a snow-packed road and struck a tree in Jefferson County.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Gabrielle Brooke Hatten lost control of her 1999 Dodge Durango while traveling north about 9:30 Saturday morning on Ferguson Road about three miles east of Ozawkie. The highway patrol's report said she wore a seat belt.

In a similar but less serious accident, a Chevy Blazer carrying 10 people overturned on U.S. Highway 24 about four miles west of Tonganoxie.

Although two of the passengers were not wearing seat belts, no one in the vehicle sustained life-threatening injuries, said Tom Pulkrabek, chief of the Tonganoxie Township Rural Fire Department. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical workers responded to that accident for assistance, dispatchers said.

Accidents near Lawrence Saturday morning included one oneastbound Kansas Highway 10. The wreck closed both lanes while crews removed the vehicle. Police said the driver was not seriously hurt.

Around 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon, two people were transported to Lawrence Memorial Hospital after an accident near 23rd Street and Naismith Drive. Elliott classified their injuries as minor.

But Saturday's snow failed to deter many shoppers in Lawrence, and others welcomed the flakes for a different reason.

Kathryn Koeberl, 4, of Lawrence, sped down a hill on a green plastic sled at Centennial Park.

"I think snow in Lawrence in a way is a welcome sight, especially around the holidays," said her father, Chris Koeberl.

Winter accidents

Accidents in snow and ice: in 2004: 4,919 in 2003: 6,015 in 2002: 6,036 in 2001: 5,005 in 2000: 7,499 In 2004, 6.6 percent of accidents occurred during snow and/or ice conditions.

On average, 82.4 percent of accidents in Kansas occur when there are no adverse conditions.

Frequency of winter accidents in other conditions: Sleet: 0.4 percent Snow and winds: 0.5 percent Freezing rain: 0.7 percent Snow: 2.4 percent

Source: Kansas Department of Transportation


pierced_daisy 12 years, 3 months ago

It honestly saddens me. That someone always dies when it snows due to a traffic accident. Give yourself enough time. Learn how to drive in the snow.

And if you dont know how to drive in it, or dont have a huge parking lot to practice, then dont go out! Cancel your appointments, use PTO, driving in the snow isnt worth dying!

b_asinbeer 12 years, 3 months ago

daisy-true...everyone should take an extra 5-10 minutes to get around. What's 5-10 minutes really when it saves you a lifetime of minutes in the end by driving more carefully?

italianprincess 12 years, 3 months ago

My son was hit by a drunk driver playing chicken in the snow this morning. We just got home, and his car is a total wreck. This man who had been drinking kept changing lanes when my son tried to move over to avoid being hit. He hit them, jumped out of the car and took off. His passenger stayed and the police did find this drunk guy and hes in jail.

Drunk drivers should have their drivers license taken away for 2 years, they should have to attend some type of alcohol school, do time, and be given a different colored license plate then us. I know its sounds harsh, but its my son who got hit and I'm pretty pissed off right now.

I'm glad my son and his friend are okay and the young man who was the passenger of the other car too.

italianprincess 12 years, 3 months ago

Nah we don't need a new car. I just would like the guy who decided to be an idiot, drink and drive to pay for his crime. We don't need to LJWorld to do any story.

Thank you for the sincerity of being thoughful about my son and his friend. Hes really pissed off right about his car. He spent alot of money on it and was about to be sponsered for car shows. The body kit is completely smashed so no future car shows for him for now. He put his own money into his car from working 2 jobs after school. Hes a good kid, but a very pissed off one right now.

University Tow has it and hopefully we can get it here tomorrow sometime to avoid anymore daily storage fees. I'm going to call them tomorrow and check things out.

bthom37 12 years, 3 months ago

Well, from the sound of it italianprincess, the drunk driver could be charged with attempted murder (or, if there is such a thing, attempted vehicular manslaughter).

Hope things work out for you and your son.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 3 months ago

Number one gets a 6 months suspension of drivers license. $500.00 fine plus costs, forfeiture of tags,registration and mandatory cancellation of auto insurance.

Number two gets 1one year suspension of drivers license,forfeiture of auto tags and registration and mandatory cancellation of auto insurance. 2000.00 fine and 15 days. Mandatory attendance of AAA. If caught driving during this period: 1 year minimum security

Three or more same as number two in addition to 1 year in minimum security/detox treatment. Treatment is billed to defendant.

angelofmine 12 years, 3 months ago

italianprincess - Glad to hear your son came away physically unscathed! He is very lucky that the only damage is to his car, which is a shame, but....much better than being hurt. I hope that idiot that hit your son has insurance. I would be livid, regardless.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 3 months ago

dear Italianprincess: I was so glad to read that your son was okay though his car was totaled.
I agree with all the measures you litst for dui's, my father died a dui. he severely injured three tourists on highway #1 in a head on when i was 16.

to the measures you list, I would add that the judge should order specific restitution for your son's t lost, that the bastid must provide him with a completely equivalent replacement car, re the work your son put into getting it.

thank God your son's t okay, and the slime was caught. let's keep on the local judicial system on this one and make sure they don't just slap his wrists!

[don't know about the extra "t"s...must punish left index finger].

italianprincess 12 years, 3 months ago

Thank you bearded_gnome and I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I was hit by a drink driver when I was 21 so I know the feeling.

Believe me when I say this guy won't get away with just a slap on the wrist. We will take him for more then he has coming to him. He could have killed my son and his friend so he has no idea whats headed his way.

Don't ever mess with the wrath of a mom.

italianprincess 12 years, 3 months ago


You do understand that the accident was not my son's fault, right?

He was coming from dropping off his date from the winter formal and got hit by a drunk playing chicken in the snow.

Just thought I would clear that up.

italianprincess 12 years, 3 months ago

I got ya............ and understand what you mean now.

My car is made of fiber glass too and yes the old ones are made of metal. The older ones are and can handle accidents better then the new ones can.

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