Archive for Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Driver charged in hit-and-run that killed KU student appears in court

December 19, 2006


Joshua Walton, left, made his first court appearance Monday in Douglas County District Court. Walton, 24, is charged with involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence and with leaving the scene of the accident that killed Kansas University student Ryan Kanost, 22, on Sept. 23.

Joshua Walton, left, made his first court appearance Monday in Douglas County District Court. Walton, 24, is charged with involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence and with leaving the scene of the accident that killed Kansas University student Ryan Kanost, 22, on Sept. 23.

A Lawrence man charged with killing a Kansas University student in a hit-and-run wreck earlier this year made a brief first appearance Monday in Douglas County District Court.

Joshua I. Walton, 24, stood before Judge Pro Tem Peggy Kittel long enough for her to assign his case to another judge and to schedule his next court date. Walton will appear Jan. 9 before Judge Robert Fairchild to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

Walton is charged with involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence and with leaving the scene of the accident. Prosecutors allege he struck and killed KU student Ryan Matthew Kanost, 22, shortly after 1 a.m. Sept. 23 as Kanost tried to walk across Kentucky Street at 13th Street.

"Joshua and his family extend their deepest sympathy to the young man's family," Walton's attorney, Thomas J. Bath Jr. of Overland Park, said after the hearing.

Bath said that Walton has fully cooperated with police since he turned himself hours after the wreck for questioning. He was released at the time, then booked into jail Dec. 4 after prosecutors filed charges against him.

He remains free on $25,000 bond.

Bath said he picked up police reports on the case Monday.


sublime 11 years, 3 months ago

No one feels sorry for you Josh--A pretty boy like you will do some PAINFULL time.

Sigmund 11 years, 3 months ago

What does his looks (pretty or not) have too do with anything? He may have turn himself in hours after it happened, but he left the scene giving him time to dispose any incriminating evidence that might have been in the car. The fact that his car was damaged and the realization that he couldn't get it fixed without raising suspicions nor explain the damage to his family and friends was his motivation for "doing the right thing." I have little to no sympathy for him, or anyone else, under these circumstances.

compmd 11 years, 3 months ago

I have no sympathy for drunk drivers. Mr. Walton's future is based on the choices he made. He chose to drink himself silly. He then chose to get into his car. Now he has to deal with the consequences of those choices.

Kontum1972 11 years, 3 months ago

Ditto its a long hard ride down the ol' Dirt Hiway..... excuse me is your's Whole wheat or Corn?

estespark 11 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

DaREEKKU 11 years, 3 months ago

"They're gonna be lovin' you from dawn until dusk." "Hold on to your soap."

You people are PATHETIC. Find something noteworthy to post about rather than making childish homosexual remarks.

estespark 11 years, 3 months ago

Don't forget about the ol' Dirt Hiway remark, DaREEKKU.

bankboy119 11 years, 3 months ago

There's nothing childish about homosexuality. Unless you mean that men take advantage of young boys sometimes. In this sense though, it's 2 grown men looking for some lovin'.

misslawrence 11 years, 3 months ago

Where's Marion on this one? usually he's the first to respond and be mr. technical........

Bubarubu 11 years, 3 months ago

Yea, rape jokes! People being forced into sexual acts against their will and without the protection of the government that has taken custody of them is funny! People contracting HIV is hilarious! Man, I love me some prison rape!

The guy is going to jail for committing a crime. There's no need for you to enjoy that fact or to celebrate the likelihood that he'll be subjected to a punishment beyond that to which he was sentenced. Pathetic hardly describes it. Sadistic, twisted, and hateful come much closer.

Harry_Manback 11 years, 3 months ago

I had a class with that guy about 2 years ago. He's quite the drinker. Every day he'd have a new story about how he got wasted. He used to use his dad's or grandpa's (or someone's) handicap sticker to park illegally, if he's the same guy I remember. He drove a Camry also (I remember cause I had the same one.) I think it's him...worked at Starbucks? Might not be him though, but I know his name was Josh, and he looks awfully familiar.

I feel bad for everyone involved. Sucks for him. What a tragic situation.

Harry_Manback 11 years, 3 months ago

Yes, pretty sure it is. After going back and reading the story, everything (including the car) seems to match up. I remember it unnerved me that he'd park in the handicap spots when he obviously wasn't. I thought he was a nice guy though...just seemed like kind of a drunk/partier type, but certainly not harmful. So sad.

Harry_Manback 11 years, 3 months ago

The more I think about it, I'm almost 100% sure it's the same guy. I didn't recognize him at first cause he had a beard and glasses when I knew him, but we talked daily in class and I'd see him occassionally when I went out to the bars. He would hook me up with free coffee too.

I know so many people who drive drunk or have DUIs. I'm willing to bet that on any weekend night around 25% of the KU student population drives drunk. I can't tell you how many times I've had to listen to people brag about how they wrecked into something, but didn't get caught, etc.

But, don't be so quick to judge the actions of others. I'm not sympathizing with drunk drivers (I lost my best friend in a drunk driving accident 2 years ago,) but if you can truly look inside and say to yourself, "I've NEVER driven drunk in my whole life," then so be it, but otherwise let this be a lesson that ONE really bad choice can totally f-up the lives of countless people.

I wish more people would realize what can happen if they drink and drive. You can get a taxi anywhere in town for $10.

local_support 11 years, 3 months ago

Josh did in fact work at Starbucks downtown for years. Not sure if he is still there.

He was in a pretty bad car accident himself a few years ago and almost lost his life.

The whole thing is pretty unfortunate.

jayhawks71 11 years, 3 months ago

Yes, please, set up MORE sobriety checkpoints to hassle the rest of the people that are doing NOTHING WRONG.

FBDP, why don't you call the cops and let them come randomly search your home and place of work. Geesh.

yellowhouse 11 years, 3 months ago

My 18 year old brother Jerry was killed by a drunk driver in a van that ran a red light and hit his car at an estimated speed of 80mph.

He flew through the winddshield and landed over 30 feet away. The driver of the van was also killed.

Until it happens to you, you can never understand the pain. And with people like this on the roads, everyones odds just got increased!

Raphael 11 years, 3 months ago

It is too bad so many people have to have drugs and/or alcohol on board to have a good time. What would the world be like if there were no mind-altering agents? Man - we'd have to be entertained just by conversation and our own initiatives. What a concept.

lynnd 11 years, 3 months ago

I have no sympathy for drunk drivers but at the same time I feel sorry for this person. He will have to live with this forever and I'm sure it's painful.

Harry you are so right. I am amazed at how many people I know have driven drunk.

I remember thinking last year when I was at Wakarusa, that the police effort would have been better spent patrolling for drunken drivers in town rather than busting people for smoking a joint while they were camping in a field with little chance of hurting or killing someone else. Not that I condone drug use because I certainly don't...but I think the drunk drivers do far more damage.

Harry_Manback 11 years, 3 months ago


Off topic, but I completely agree. Still don't know anyone to date who has died from smoking pot! (Although I don't think you should drive when you're impaired by any substance.)

You get a DUI, slap on the wrist (pretty much.) Get caught with a joint, you lose all your financial aid. Makes perfect sense.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 3 months ago

"just seemed like kind of a drunk/partier type, but certainly not harmful"

Who do you THINK is doing the drinking & driving in this town? The Mormons? Drunk/partier types ARE dangerous once they get behind the wheel.

Our permissive attitude toward chemical abuse in our culture will guaranty that we keep reading headlines like this one for some time.

bugmenot 11 years, 3 months ago

Okay, why has no one said, "It's really sad for the kid who got killed and his family"? That's who I feel sad for. It could easily have been anyone. I don't find it sad that this kid is going to jail just because a lot of other people drink and drive and don't get caught or hit people. If you're drunk and you drive, you're just as much to blame for that kid's death as the guy who happened to hit someone and get caught this time. I can't understand how people get behind the wheel drunk and don't feel completely dirty. I'm not saying this as holier-than-thou nondrinker. I've walked a LONG WAY home from many parties/Mass Street because, no matter how drunk I get, I have more sense than the jokers who drive themselves home. I have a friend who, after a night of heavy drinking and drunk behavior, pretends she's sober enough to drive at the end. I just don't understand it.

Libgirl 11 years, 2 months ago

Thanks, Bugmenot.

Ryan was a good friend and I'm always upset reading the blogs because they are used as outlets for ignorance, arrogance and unfound opinions.

I just want justice for Ryan, and have to remember at the same time that if I was friends with Josh instead I'd be scared for him.

Hypothetical situations (ie, check points, other drunk drivers, crosswalks) don't change that the moment came and the event happened. Let's not focus on what could have been or the negative punishments for Josh, just warm memories of our friend and the ones who are still here.

Peace Ryan

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