Archive for Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Boy, 6, dies in accident

Minivan hits pupil while he rides scooter

January 31, 2006


A Prairie Park School kindergarten student died Monday morning after being hit by a minivan while riding his foot-powered scooter to school.

Bryce K. Olsen, 6, died about 11:40 a.m. near the intersection of Harper Street and East 25th Terrace in southeast Lawrence. Police said the accident happened just after the minivan's driver, city sanitation worker Peter Matthias Kwesi Afful, 45, stopped at the stop sign on southbound Harper Street and made a right turn.

"He never saw the child," said Sgt. Dan Ward, a Lawrence Police spokesman.

LPD spokeswoman Kim Murphree said it would take some time before a detailed accident report was finished. Afful, who was off-duty at the time of the wreck, had not been charged with any traffic infractions as of Monday evening, and Murphree said there were no indications alcohol or drugs were a factor.

Olsen died just across the street from where he lived: a Habitat for Humanity home where he had moved just before Christmas with his parents and two older brothers.

"Everybody's just stunned," said Jean Lilley, executive director of Lawrence Habitat for Humanity, who stopped by the Olsens' home Monday to talk with the family. "It's just been a roller-coaster ride for them. They had this high with moving into this brand new home, and now they're hitting the lowest of lows."

In a 2004 interview about his application for a Habitat for Humanity home, Bryce's father, Bret, said his children were his "whole life."

"What really gets me through life is my children," he said.

Bret Olsen, who is disabled from an on-the-job injury, said he and his wife had struggled with the city's costly housing market but were determined to live in Lawrence because of the school system.

"Everybody's views are different about why they're here," he said. "Mine is my children."

Bryce had been on his way to afternoon kindergarten classes at Prairie Park School. Employees there first determined something was wrong when they took attendance and noticed Bryce was missing, Principal David Williams said.

"He was a great little kid - very energetic, very adventurous," Williams said. "Just a sweet little guy."

Williams said he saw Bryce ride home on his scooter every day after school with his two older brothers, a second-grader and a fifth-grader.

Some of the Olsens' neighbors expressed concern Monday about the speed and volume of traffic near the intersection. Lilley said she had noticed the traffic in the area and had warned the Olsens about it.

"That was a concern," she said. "We did speak with the family to let them know it's not as sheltered as the trailer park (where the family previously lived), where they expect kids to be going out in the street."

A school district crisis team spent the afternoon at Prairie Park School, helping counsel staff members and students about how to deal with the loss. The school also sent home a note with children and gave families a list of tips for how to deal with grief.

Bryce's family members were not yet willing to speak about the situation on Monday, said their pastor, Bishop Doug Von Feldt of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A church spokesman said the family planned to release a statement today.


ForBryce 12 years, 3 months ago

The link above is were my wife posted her comments. We are the aunt and uncle mentioned. She spent most of the night, not sleeping for we have an 8 yr. old at home as well. It really hits a parent close to the heart. I can not imagine what it would be like if it were my child. Bryce is well loved. Please keep your comments civil for there is family reading them. Thank you all for the kind words.

Prayers are graciously accepted.

Jamesaust 12 years, 3 months ago

Few items on this site seem to have brought about such a response. How few were more worthy?

How many parents must have pulled their children close and then lectured them for the 100,000th time to keep watch for traffic?

How many drivers must have had some flashback to some kid (or other) running out into the road near their vehicle, unaware or unobservant of everlasting doom?

However, one family that arose that sunny day finds itself beyond our solace. Who among us this morning gave pause to consider - knock on wood - that this would be our last view of this world, yet another's?

Can there be no doubt that somewhere right now siblings lie in tears or sit quite still with darkness hidden away for many years?

What curious-eyed youngster, emerged from the excitement of the holiday season, energized by the hope of education, and the promise of everlasting afternoon, went to meet schoolmates and a teacher but never found them?

What motorist in our community finds himself as the evening overcomes wishing for anything that he had begun his errands sooner, or rather, later. Or had anything else to be doing at noontime?

For this was an event wholly avoidable and yet inevitable, foreseeable in retrospect and yet the last thing anyone would rightly expect.

And for that, it is a tragedy. Simple. Distinct. And nothing more...or less.

Baille 12 years, 3 months ago

I knew the child and I know the family. The Journal World should turn off comments on this story before more like Cynner begin posting here. Such a tragedy does not need mean-spirited commentary.

Lowell Holmes 12 years, 3 months ago

Bankboy, read the story again, as well as the one yesterday, nowhere did it say the man ran the stopsign. A poster on this forum yesterday said that. Maybe you should quit trying to place the blame and just send you thoughts an good wishes (if you have any) to this boys family. Otherwise just shut up!

YourItalianPrincess 12 years, 3 months ago

My heart goes out to both familes as they are both hurting right now. May God keep all of you in his arms as you go through this horrible time in your lives.

Yesterdays LJWorld said the man driving the van didn't stop at the stop sign, and today it says he did. Who was a witness to this tragic accident?

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

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

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

Hey quin, that's what I put in my comment. That somebody who witnessed the accident saw what happened. So why am I shutting up? Learn to read.

momof4 12 years, 3 months ago

Bankboy, what your comment is repeating, is what lawrencemommy posted yesterday, and she later stated she didn't see the accident. She heard it from someone who heard it from someone etc. All she has done has started rumors that no one in authority has even commented on. Leave the people involved in peace.

justathought 12 years, 3 months ago

My heart goes out to this family. It is always sad when a special life is ended so early. To those who would like to find someone to blame, ask yourself is that really your place? Maybe you should blame YOUR OWN parents for your misplaced anger and hate. My parents taught me that if I didn't have anything nice to say then I shouldn't say anything at all, and this situation is one that you use that advise on.

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

This is sad and tragic, and no amount of assigning blame will make it less so.

Sometimes, terrible things just happen, and it would be a lot easier on all of us if we could just point a finger at someone and say, "YOU! You, you horrible person with your doing or not doing whatever it was you did or didn't do, you are responsible for the pain and sadness I'm feeling right now. This pain is your fault." Then we might not have to face and own up to the fact that it's really sad to see a young life cut short, and there's nothing at all we can do to make it better right now.

But it doesn't work that way. It hurts, and it's sad, and we can't make it stop being sad just because we want to, and making it someone's 'fault' doesn't, ultimately, mean it's going to hurt any less.

My heart goes out to the family, and to the driver, and also to every person who reads this article today and remembers someone they lost before they were ready, or something they did that they wish they could take back.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

There is absolutely no basis to pointing the finger at anyone at this point. If the only information people have is this article, then you are clutching at straws. Drop it until the investigation is complete.

This is such a shame. That child will never get to experience the stuff that everyone of us takes for granted. Meanwhile, it pretty much drives a dagger in the heart of his family and friends. I pray that God will help you through this, the grieving process, and the rest of your lives.

14Lawrence 12 years, 3 months ago

My heart goes out to the family. My kids attend this school and I live close by. Although this was a notoriously dangerous intersection, this is a tragedy. I feel deeply for the family and our hearts and prayers need to be with them. It's unbelieveable how inconsiderate some people can be.

Cynthia Hein 12 years, 3 months ago

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

peter brady 12 years, 3 months ago

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

Dixie Jones 12 years, 3 months ago

Stop with all the nonsense ppl , these people have lost a very dear child , can we show them some compassion. To this family my prayers go out no one should ever have to go through what this family is going through at this time. and as for the man who hit this child my heart goes out cause he has to LIVE with this the REST of his life. Reread some of the comments and take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of the family reading these if its the young childs family or the man who hit the child, think about things before you go off on your sprees ppl.. and remember hold that child/loved one a lil tighter and closer today and think of the new angel we have above all of us watching over us . GOD BLESS

baby_girl 12 years, 3 months ago

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

momof4 12 years, 3 months ago

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

baby_girl 12 years, 3 months ago

How disappointing that if my comment offends one reader it's removed. The comment was not insensitive and just stated one thing: PARENTAL SUPERVISION.

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

So what happened in my first comment that warrented removal?

momof4 I'm sorry I didn't see what lawrencemommy posted later on in the day. I repeated what I had read but obviously did not get the whole story.

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

I say we all start suggesting removal for all the posts and see how many get removed.

lv2ride 12 years, 3 months ago

Badger said it perfectly!! Way to go Badger!

LJW should not HAVE to end this, because people should be more compassionate!! BUT...

They need to, because the negative feedback is way too much right now, and out weighs the nice compassionate comments that others have made.

What I mean (before everyone starts in on me) matter how many nice things are said, one negative comment can hurt to the point that the nice things are no longer heard.

PLEASE people, respect this family and if you are going to say anything at all, keep it positive for this family, pay your respects and save the negative comments for some other story or better yet, lose the negativity!!!

My heart and prayers go out to this family, bryce, and the driver of the minivan. You ALL are going through a difficult time and I will be praying for you ALL!!! Keep your heads up and you will in time be ok, God will help you get through this.

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

Well I've successfully suggested removal of everyone's comments...including my own and as soon as this one is posted I'll suggest the removal of it as well. Glad to know we need to censor all of our "objectionable" comments.

momof4 12 years, 3 months ago

bankboy, I can't believe you would suggest removal of my acceptance of your apology(it's a joke people)

ForBryce 12 years, 3 months ago

For those that wish to make a donation, there is a trust fund set up at any Douglas county bank. Just request that the donations go to the "Bryce Olsen trust fund". The family is deeply saddened and the pain is weighing heavy on them at this time. I too have a 8 yr. old child. Please keep your comments civil. This is not a time to assign blame. This a time to morn.

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

Okay Porkribs as much as I agree that abortion is 100% completely wrong....this isn't the place for an abortion discussion. I gave my God Bless yesterday and my prayers will be with the doesn't mean every post needs to say something about Bryce.

Take my suggestion of suggesting that we all should voice our suggestion to the LJW to suggest the removal of all objectionable suggestions. It was kind of hard to put anything about Bryce in there for it.

momof4 12 years, 3 months ago

There you go again Porkribs, pushing your own agenda, this is not about abortion, it's a very tragic accident.

momof4 12 years, 3 months ago

Porkribs, I thought you weren't going to respond to any comments. Can't even follow though with your own comments?

baby_girl 12 years, 3 months ago

Don't get me wrong; I am saddened that this tragedy occurred. It freaks me out to even see my 4-year-old niece run towards the street! Needless to say, she is stopped immediately by one of her parents or myself.

I respect that people have things to say and family is monitoring the comment posting, but whomever is monitoring needs to respect the fact that quite a few of us are upset that another tiny life was taken and it could have been prevented:

livinthedream 12 years, 3 months ago

This is the first time to post on this forum. I normally just read this forum and continue on with my day. I am very upset that anyone with a soul would want to place any kind of blame at this time. What ever happened to compassion? Especially since we all know that someone in Bryce's family is reading this. Seriously people, have a heart.

14Lawrence 12 years, 3 months ago

WOW. baby_girl seems to be a firm advocate of PARENTAL SUPERVISION. Do you even have kids baby_girl? This is not the time to attack.

my2girls 12 years, 3 months ago

My condolences go out to the family and the driver too! I travel to Eudora to work everyday and I am as guilty as the next when the traffic is backed up I cut through that area to get out of the backed up traffic on 23rd street. We need the South Lawrence trafficway! It would help the extra traffice through that area!

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

Informed: What happened w/ even_money?

Last I check, a 2 ton vehicle probably doesn't have to go that fast to run over and kill a 6 year old boy.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 3 months ago

Wow! What a discussion. This is an emotional topic, no doubt. But I'm surprised at a couple of things:

  1. Lots of arm-chair quarterbacks out there. I know that it's easy to do (I've done it myself), but I wish we could refrain from doing so. Who saw the accident? Who's playing "what if" just for the sake of playing "what if"?

  2. Where is the LJW out there? While I appreciate that they make this forum available, it would be helpful if, for example, the LJW would clarify whether or not the driver did/did not run a red light---rather than let endless posts waste out time on this particular issue. A lot of forums have a "moderator" who, judiciously, interjects his/her comments/perspective into the discussion. LJW seems disinclined to do so.

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

Laughing -

They can't confirm whether he ran a red light, or a stop sign, or anything else unless the police release a statement or he is issued some sort of moving violation. In legal areas, they have to tread carefully, and this is going to be a dicey one because emotion surrounding it is so high.

There will be a court case regarding this, for which a jury will likely be selected (even if it's just an insurance case, not any sort of traffic or criminal case). If the LJW prints things about stop signs that turn out not to be true or verifiable, or if they allow people to post that they saw something without determining if that person is a reliable source then they run the risk of tainting a jury pool and ending up in the lawsuit. So, that's probably why we have a removal of anyone saying the LJW ever printed that, or that they saw it - because the LJW didn't print it, and they have no way to verify that anyone who said they saw it is telling the truth, since we're mostly anonymous.

I'd say ease up on the censors today. I imagine they're dealing with their own reaction to this, and are no less human than any of the rest of us in the face of community tragedy.

For_Bryce 12 years, 3 months ago

As we stated earlier by his Uncle a "Memorial Fund for Bryce Olsen" has been set up with Douglas County Bank. (thank you to the Bank for your assistance this morning and kindness). You can make donations at any branch or mail your donations to

PO Box 429, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Thank you Mom_of_Three for your direct email. Right now the family needs your prayers and understanding.

Thank you for your support,


Confrontation 12 years, 3 months ago

My thoughts are with the family of this wonderful little boy. May you look past the ugliness of many posters on this site, and only remember the joy Bryce created.

baby_girl 12 years, 3 months ago

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

laughingatallofu 12 years, 3 months ago


Thanks for your response.

This is what I pulled off of this forum:

Posted by YourItalianPrincess (anonymous) on January 31, 2006 at 7:23 a.m.

Yesterdays LJWorld said the man driving the van didn't stop at the stop sign, and today it says he did. Who was a witness to this tragic accident?

Posted by Informed (anonymous) on January 31, 2006 at 7:26 a.m.

No, YIP, the article yesterday never said the man ran the stop sign -- not in any version or update of the story. <<<

OK, which version is true? All I'm asking is that the LJW clarify what was actually printed. A "moderator" can easily do this.

Also, It's interesting that you called the LJW staff who "moderate" this forum as "censors". I hope that they are "moderating" us and not "censoring" us.

It's too nice outside to debate this any longer. I'm going out for a run!

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

Hmmm...pretty sure my statement wasn't debating paying attention. But if by chance you don't see them, it would be fairly easy for something like this to happen. Doesn't mean the driver wasn't paying attention, doesn't mean that he was paying attention. I don't know, I am not the police investigating the incident.

But hey, let's just jump in and starting blaming whoever we feel like huh? I've read this article, I am ready to render my verdict.

For_Bryce: Thank you for the information. "Right now the family needs your prayers and understanding." They have it. God Bless.

noise 12 years, 3 months ago

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

14Lawrence 12 years, 3 months ago

I have a question for: For_Bryce. Can I send the family anything or purchase a memorial wreath to place on the road as a reminder to drivers to be careful? Or would they just prefer donations go to the fund? The whole family needs to know that many of us in the community are sharing your pain. If there is anything we can do, just ask. My son is in class with Bryce's brother and I can't even imagine what you and your family are going through. My deepest sympathies and prayers are with you.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 3 months ago

And, by the way, to me, this sounds like a terrible accident (am I an arm-chair QB?) and is a tragedy. I've been thinking about this all morning, and it saddens me. I pray for all whose lives have been affected by this.

For_Bryce 12 years, 3 months ago

To 14Lawrence - thank you for your prayers. Donations to the Memorial Funds are greatly apprecated. As you may know it is a great financial burden on the family at this time. My husband and I have talked about a marker/ wreath and one will be placed by our Son tonight. Again, thank you for your offer to help.

Sincerely, Aunt

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

Confrontation get the prize for the kindest post today. I agree with C--

"My thoughts are with the family of this wonderful little boy. May you look past the ugliness of many posters on this site, and only remember the joy Bryce created."

Now that's class. My heart goes out to them also. What a terrible tragedy.

Dixie Jones 12 years, 3 months ago

It simply amazes me how you people can turn a tragic accident into a freakin abortion/parent/backstabing event......there should be nothing on this blog but positive support for the families effected by this ... God bless each and every family member and friend who knew and loved lil bryce we have a very special angel above us now .

4thekids 12 years, 3 months ago

To the families involed in this "tragic accident": Bryce will be missed by many many people, young and old. He touched many lives and hearts (including mine) in his very short time here on earth and we are left with many wonderful memories of him. I just want to let "both" of the families know that they are in my thoughts and prayers.

And to Bryce my little friend a bright and shining star; "see you at 2 Scooby-Doo"!

Your Friend!

laughingatallofu 12 years, 3 months ago


I haven't followed this story (or this discussion) from beginning to end. So you may be right. What I'm saying is that there appears to be a lot of hearsay on this forum that the LJW could easily clear up. I don't know whether or not the driver ran a stop sign/redlight. It seems like posters to this forum disagree as to what was printed/posted. Whatever was reported in the LJW is "hard" news (it doesn't change). But, on a dynamic forum like this, you would think that the LJW would want to set the matter straight. Hence, my argument for a "moderator" to help get the story straight (or, at least, get us back on topic!)

pt 12 years, 3 months ago

Bryce was a great kid who always had a smile on. My utmost sympathies go out to the Olsens during this difficult time.

pelliott 12 years, 3 months ago

I am sorry for the family, no greater loss. I am praying for them all.

laughingatallofu 12 years, 3 months ago


You're right. there aren't any rules. we don't have to stay on topic. I'll reference Pork Ribs' comments (see above)

Posted by PorkRibs (anonymous) on January 31, 2006 at 9:29 a.m.

So, do you like what you've read here today? You started out reading about the tragic death of a 6 year old boy. Now, you're reading about stuff that has nothing to do with his death. It wastes my time when I have to read posts that are irrelevant to the topic at hand.

LJW Moderator --- please try to keep us on topic, or shut down this forum. You have a great deal of latitude, I just wish that you would show that you're not only about deleting offensive posts).

Layne Moore 12 years, 3 months ago

I pray that the family of this little boy can find some peace and comfort knowing that there are many people around them who genuinely care and love them. I personally do not know them but, I pray they can receive the strength they need right now. I'm weeping as I type this... it's just tragic. Please use this forum to build the family up in their time of need.

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

Or you could pick up your monitor and throw it on the ground. Or you could turn off the monitor. Or turn off the computer and leave the monitor on.

So what was the topic again? Help! I need a moderator! I can't seem to remember the topic.

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

laughing -

This forum is not moderated. It is, however, censored.

Moderators take part in discussions, answer questions, provide feedback, and (in some cases) guide discussion. I've been moderating and administering webforums for years. It generally involves a lot more actual participation and some interaction. Generally, a mod would be the one to step into this discussion and ask people to keep it respectful.

This forum self-moderates; members of the community provide feedback to one another about what they consider acceptable behaviour, and we are the ones who suggest post removal. It says right at the top there that LJW does not review every post. I like this as a self-moderated forum, personally, and would hate to see it modded from a single authority.

And I call them 'censors' because they remove posts according to a set of criteria, not in any particularly negative sense of the word.

If they even address the whole stop sign notion, how do they do it? Post in this forum, "We never said that?" It opens up discussion of, "Did you not say it because it's not true, or did you not say it because it's true but unverified, or did you not say it because the police are investigating it?" Even if you don't ask those questions, someone will, and then how do they respond to that? Better to just let all the posters who've said, "No, it wasn't printed, it was a comment that has since been retracted and removed, by someone spreading hearsay."

Remember that without a dedicated mod reading every post, it's likely your pleas for information went unheard. Try contacting the reporter with the question. Also, without a dedicated mod, there's no one we can contact and no one who has established the authority to speak for the paper here. It would be a landmine. Anyone could register the username 'Admin' or something similar and post whatever he liked, so they don't (usually) use this forum to answer reader questions.

They said the best thing they could say: "LPD spokeswoman Kim Murphree said it would take some time before a detailed accident report was finished. Afful, who was off-duty at the time of the wreck, had not been charged with any traffic infractions as of Monday evening, and Murphree said there were no indications alcohol or drugs were a factor."

There, plain as day. More info will come when the accident report is finished, he wasn't charged with any traffic offenses (and thus CERTAINLY not convicted of any and therefore to be considered innocent of them!), he doesn't appear to have been using drugs or alcohol. That's as much definite information as anyone has right now, and it's all they're going to give us.

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago


I do have to ask, do you type extremely fast or have a lot of time on your hands? You're able to provide a lot of information and it's great but whatever job you have I think I should sign up for it so I can have as much time to type haha.

Christine Anderson 12 years, 3 months ago

I still can't stop crying. My little boy came home yesterday, and the first thing he said stepping off the bus was, "Mommy, my bestest friend got killed by a minivan today." Jacob loved Bryce. Recently, the p.m. K class took a field trip to the Lied Center. I went along. The children are assigned "buddies" to hold hands with. Jacob and Bryce were holding hands and talking as they got on and off the bus. They laughed at the play together. My son sat on my lap for maybe an hour when he first got home. He keeps saying, "I am very,very sad." I think what shook me the most is that a very special little person the same age as my youngest could actually die. I've been at many, many deaths of older persons or those who suffered a chronic illness. Those cases are always sad, too, but a BABY? I'm finding my own faith being challenged. I admit to asking WHY? I'll remember Bryce as a very loving, sweet fella who ran through the maze at the pumpkin patch with my son. In fact, Bryce's daddy had to help me find my son in the maze. There were too many little blonde heads bobbing up and down. Hey, I know that when something like this happens, there is nothing that makes it any easier. However, I leave you with what I told my little one yesterday. He was sitting on my lap crying, and I told him to remember that Bryce was sitting in Mr. Jesus' lap.

nomorebobsplease 12 years, 3 months ago

As I read this article, and the posts associated with it, right on my monitor are the pictures of my 2 sons. The thought of losing them is unbearable. I didn't know Bryce, and I can only imagine the pain his family and friends must be experiencing. To them, my deepest condolences and my prayers. May God give you strength, and may the memories of your beloved son bring you comfort in the days to come.

Confrontation 12 years, 3 months ago

misplacedcheesehead: Thank you for sharing you and your child's personal story about Bryce. My thoughts are also with your child during this time.

For_Bryce 12 years, 3 months ago

misplacedcheesehead. Special hug to Jacob. As we sit and told our Son that Bryce had died it was hard to answer all the "why" questions. I do know it is important for them to grieve and ask the questions. This is very hard for a lot of people and God be with us all.

lv2ride 12 years, 3 months ago


I ditto confrontation's comment...I am praying for ALL involved including the driver and who were touched by little Bryce's beautiful life!!

I don't know Bryce or his family. My children are 5 years old (twin boys) and 6 years old (girl). I cannot stop my eyes from tearing up every time I read a (positive) post. I can not even imagine losing any of my children.

I am also praying for those who think they need to post negativity.

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

Bankboy said:


I do have to ask, do you type extremely fast or have a lot of time on your hands? You're able to provide a lot of information and it's great but whatever job you have I think I should sign up for it so I can have as much time to type haha."

I type >75 wpm.

The other part of it is that as I've explained before, my job has a lot of sitting around and waiting for the computer to finish doing things in the background so I can set it up to do some more things. I hit 'go' on four or five programs and can have up to fifteen minutes to kill. Then I go back, set some more things up, hit 'go' again, and so on.

I build and run a lot of high-density reports and processes, with lots of data to collect and extract, and nothing I can do to hurry along the process.

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

My apologies, by the way, for the off-topic posts. I won't post any more off topic.

Mike Wagner 12 years, 3 months ago

i am a father of 3 (seems to b a requirement to have a opinion) and it would kill me to loose a child. please try to keep in mind that nothing you can say is going to make more of an impact than what these parents are already feeling so please stop the negative post. i have questions like everyone, but i doubt they will get answered here so not much point in trying to figure out how or why, lets just make sure it doesnt happen to anymore children. parents: if you can walk your kids to school, please do so and keep a close eye on them when they play outside. drivers: get off the damn cell phones and slow down in the resedential areas. we all know that the streets in this town are a total joke and little is being done to keep up with the growth, but we all have to do a better job on the things we do have control over. (speed & awareness) please be more carefull! my prayers go out to everyone that has been impacted by this event.

p.s. i think some of you need to get a real life and stop living through your computer. do something to make a difference in the real world.

nlf78 12 years, 3 months ago

I'm not reading any of the comments posted on this site, except for the few that were posted by ForBryce. I just want you to know that your family is in our thoughts and prayers. This just reminds us to appreciate our families, maybe hug them a bit more and definitely tell them how much they are loved! Please make sure the the Journal World publishes ANYTHING that we can do to help.

IamWhoIam 12 years, 3 months ago

When I get the opportunity, I love to sit down to read about what the citizens of our great community have to say about the random happenings within daily life. I am often entertained at some of the posts, drawn into reading the different sides of debates, and rejoice that we have the opportunity to communicate with each other in a media outlet such as this. However, I have never made a post of my own; since much of what I would have to say on a given topic is usually already stated, but in this story I would just like to make a brief statement or two.

I am an administrator at the facility where Mr. Afful's (the driver) wife works as a Nursing Assistant. She is absolutely one of the most outstanding, caring, dedicated, and loving people I have ever had the honor of working with. If I was ever in need of care, I would hope someone like her would be there for me. She is a team player, who cares about her coworkers, and is never afraid of going the extra mile to help anyone in need. This type of character is also reflected within her family as well. She has 4 children, also around the same age as little Bryce, who work hard in their classes to make their parents proud. This tragedy is surreal to all effected, and my heart goes out to Bryce's family, and to Peter's as well.

I wanted to thank all of you who have made posts for this story, for keeping the compassion needed in this situation the main priority. No matter what the law has to say about this matter, the fact remains is a little boy is gone, and the world is empty without him... One family must cope with the loss of their child, and the other must deal with the fact that they were apart of it, which will FOREVER haunt them. I hope that both families find hope and healing, and know that the Lawrence community stands behind them.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps the neighborhood should come together some time in the near future and discuss traffic in certain areas. More housing creates traffic and the SE area may as well prepare themselves accordingly.

Would a traffic light be warranted at this intersection? Flashing beacons at the school zone? Speed humps or bumps? Crosswalk markings? 25 MPH speed zone throughout the neighborhood?

Then take neighborhood thoughts to the Traffic Safety Commission or perhaps meet with David Woosley to discuss options prior to a meeting with the safety commission.

gonzy88 12 years, 3 months ago

I have a 6 year old myself and I can't even think what i't would be like at this point and time. My thoughts and prayers go out to this family. I am glad that there has been so many positive posts at a time like this!

IamWhoIam 12 years, 3 months ago

Call me "cheesy," but when I was 16 my best friend was killed, and there was a poem given out titled, "The Child Loan." I thought I might share it with everyone now, so it can hopefully bring a slice of peace, no matter how small, to those effected by this story, or for those who have one of their own:

The Child Loan

"I'll give you for a little time, A precious child of mine," He said. "For you to love the while he lives, And mourn when he is dead. It may be six or seven years, Or twenty-two or three, But will you till I call for him, Take care of him for me? He'll bring his joys to gladden you, But should his stay be brief, You'll have his loving memory For solstice in your grief."

And He was glad to hear them say,

"Dear Lord, it shall be done. For all the joy this child shall bring, The risk of grief will run. But should the angels call for him, Much sooner then we planned, We'll brave the bitter hardship, And try to understand."


IamWhoIam 12 years, 3 months ago

I agree with what ljwatcher has to say about placing driving measures, especially "it's worth it if it saves lives." I would much rather deal with that, then accidentally hurting someone, or worse.

It is also a good idea for the residents in that area to petition for more safety regulations to help drivers be more aware of area they are in.

That advice applies to anyone living in an area of Lawrence, where they feel more safety is needed on their streets. As a matter of fact, I think a "Children playing" sign might be beneficial on my own street, considering the parking and visibility issue!

* Does anyone know who to contact about such as issue? And is it a relatively simple process, or do I need to get my scissors for the "red tape??"

avhjmlk 12 years, 3 months ago

I'd say contact the public works department. See what it would take ($, red tape, whatever) for your neighborhood to get together to have a "children playing" sign put up.

punky 12 years, 3 months ago

I worked with Bryces mother Kim. She was my favorite supervisor so will someone please send her heathers condolences. thanks!

Sandra Willis 12 years, 3 months ago

If ...

  But, it is the Unexpected things that happen in life ... that remind us ALL how delicate life really is. Like this occurence.

I am feeling very sorry for both the family who must sustain this loss; and the driver, as well.

IamWhoIam 12 years, 3 months ago

I agree that some accountability must be placed on parents setting guidelines for their children, raising them to be good people, etc.

But as a community, we work to provide safety and opportunity for our numbers, and a community willing to do that is what separates a strong one from a weak one. When you go on vacation, do you ask your neighbors to help keep an eye on your place, or do you pay for a rent-a-cop to sit in your drive way for a week? Same goes for our youth. I may not have any children of my own, but if I saw one of our neighbor kids in trouble, I'd fight like hell to protect them.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

Please stop the talk about who lets them walk around at that age. I'm sure that is going through their heads enough already.

Great posts IAWIA. Both families just have to be so tortured right now.

Celeste Plitz 12 years, 3 months ago

A terrible loss, I can't even imagine. My heart goes out to Bryce's family. My sincerest condolences.

lv2ride 12 years, 3 months ago

You know I find myself at times in say (for lack of better examples) the grocery store, telling a child (whom I do not know) "oh honey, be careful you will get hurt" if I see them unsupervised and could get in trouble or hurt. or if I see a child alone I will ask them if they need help to find their mommy and/or daddy....then after the fact I think maybe that child was told not to talk to strangers or maybe me talking to that child would upset the parent . I guess I don't think of myself as a stranger to children because I HONESTLY look out for the best interest of children.

I guess what I am saying is I really don't care if the child is one of mine or someone elses, I don't want them to get I agree with what IamWhoIam is saying about fighting like h*** to protect any child.

IamWhoIam 12 years, 3 months ago

Sorry to lv2ride, and anybody else, if my use of the word h**l was inappropreate... But I am glad to hear that you agree with me regardless! ;-)

I also agree with Gootsie in stopping the "blame game."

It may be way to early, but if any one hears about a way to show sincere condolences, please let me know. In regards to a memorial fund or a place to send flowers, etc.

My email is

ForBryce 12 years, 3 months ago

Thank you all for all the kind words and generous offers. What we have been requesting is that a donation be made to the Bryce Olsen memorial fund set up at Douglas County Bank. Not that your generous offers are not appreciated, we feel that the activity around my sisters house is already hectic and we think that they would rather grieve in privacy. It is is so heart warming to know that a complete stranger in this city of ours is willing to help a family in need. This proves that their are still good people in this world.

mom_of_three 12 years, 3 months ago

Dear Bryce's aunt,

My family and I did make a donation to the memorial fund. If you need anything else I mentioned, please let me know.

Yours sincerely

For_Bryce 12 years, 3 months ago

Mom_of_Three - thank you so much for your kindness. We are passing on some of the information to Kimberly and Bret and letting them know the out-pour of prayers and donations.

Message to Heather - I will let Kimberly know of your message.

Sincerely, Aunt

IamWhoIam 12 years, 3 months ago

ForBryce- I just don't have the words to express how very sorry I am for your family... I doubt that there are words for a situation like this. As a close coworker and friend of the Afful Family, I want to express the deepest sorrow on their behalf as well. I hope both families make it through this horrible time. I'm glad to hear that the Lawrence community has been supportive.

On a side note, it seems to me like the Lawrence residents have felt a sense of loss of "community" over the years with the multiple of changes due to growth, headlines that state we are the "meanest" to our homeless, and even the frustration over KU basketball seating arrangements/traditions.

However, these things don't define our community. We define it. So when we read about something horrible that has happened to one of us, it is important that we take a moment to pause and show our support for each other. No matter how small we think our impact has. I love Lawrence (even though I grew up in Manhattan...), and believe in what it can be, so I encourage everyone to be apart of this "community," and I fully trust we'll all benefit from it.

Perhaps this discussion is best saved for another topic and day, but ForBryce, please know we stand beside you and your family!

IamWhoIam 12 years, 3 months ago

Agreed, Marion.

I'm getting ready to head out, so my rambling is over.

Thanks for the dialogue!

lv2ride 12 years, 3 months ago

IawIa...Thank you for the great posts!

kucourtsider 12 years, 3 months ago

I watched this home go up from a piece of land into a nice little house for a very deserving family. I turn the corner from 25th Terrance onto Harper every single morning on my way to work and I am always cautious of the school children waiting for their bus.

Such a tragic incident that happened, prayers and thoughts are with the Olsen family in their time of grieving and healing.

God Speed Bryce.

kcwarpony 12 years, 3 months ago

I can't even imagine the terrible pain this family must be feeling. My prayers and good thoughts are with you all.

Summan 12 years, 3 months ago

Somone needs to notify the school district offices and make them establish and enforce a rule like the one in place at my children's school.

NO STUDENT is to use roller blades, skateboards, or scooters to get to school...EVER. Only those students in 3rd grade or older are allowed to ride a bike.

There should be regular enforcement of the rules as well as on going education throughout the school year on many issues regarding a child's safety.

Just an idea.

My deepest sympathy for the families involved as well as their extended families, the classmates and teachers, the neighborhood. It is a horrible loss!

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for saying they are clever! Made my day! I didn't see all the removals, but that is good.

Mom, out.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

Shame on me for falling for that.

God bless all of them.

Kaley473 12 years, 3 months ago

I just have a few things to say..... I too have extreme compassion for what the family must be feeling at a time like this and, I too have a beautiful 6 year old little boy. I just feel the need to reiterate that what the majority of the negative post are about is that heartbreaking sense of loss I think we all felt the moment we found out of Bryce's accident especially if we have children his age. My niece is in Bryce's class and came out of school in tears yesterday. We as parents are angry, I have sat around and tried to find some logic as to why this happened....I would never, never dream of allowing my 6 year old son to even play in the front yard, let alone ride, walk, skip, or jog to school. WE would be walking along hand in hand every step of the way. Whatever happened to preventative measures...whatever happened to forthought...we as parents have ONE chance to make a wrong decision regarding our childrens safety...ONE...children depend on us for son doesn't really understand the true danger that surround the roadways, he just knows that MOM says NO...he just wants to have fun. To all the parents on E. 25th Terr that do allow their children to play the street....(yes I see them too!!) WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!!!!! The street is not a playground...these same parents that god accident occur are primed and ready to blame the driver of the car for speeding or the city of Lawrence for poor visibility at an intersection...Come on people......I CALL IT NOTHING SHORT OF NEGLIGENCE!! Maybe just maybe because of this senseless tragedy one of you other parents will open their eyes and keep your children safely where they belong...Sorry for the negativity, now go ahead and delete this.....

avetaysmom 12 years, 3 months ago

I posted yesterday and will again today, this defiantly isn't the time to point or blame anybody! All I know is I will still be able to give all my children tonight a goodnight kiss and hug and Bryce's mom won't just think about that. I couldn't imagine. All thoughts should be on the parents, never on what if's or this could have been prevented, anyone posting cruel and anything geared towards who is to blame, as hard as it is, if you are reading this Bryce's mom, they aren't worth even reading. God be with you, just remember Bryce is looking down on all of you tonight.

Nikki May 12 years, 3 months ago

I know I want to know what happened. I think it's a coping mechanism for some. All the why questions and the what-ifs. None of them will bring back this sweet little boy. I have a bunch of questions building up in my own head, but I'm not going to voice them. Bryce and his family continues to be in my family's thoughts.

Christine Anderson 12 years, 3 months ago

i/m really sad because bryce is dead and i/m gonna plant a rosebush so i/m gonna remind of bryce my name is jacob

gonzy88 12 years, 3 months ago

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

Time2LookWithin 12 years, 3 months ago

For those of you who are finished wagging your fingers at each other, for those who say something should be done, and for those who wish to show some respect.

They have errected a small memorial on the corner of 25 Terrace and Harper.

Please show some respect for the dead and those who must keep living.

CeeCee 12 years, 3 months ago

jacob, you sweetheart. you have the right idea. i bet bryce would like that. i pray that God will lift you up and bring you peace. i pray that God lift up all who are missing bryce and grieving this tragedy now and bring them peace.

gonzy88 12 years, 3 months ago

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

For_Bryce 12 years, 3 months ago

We want to thank you once again for your support to the family - some comments have been passed on to other family members but for now only his Uncle and Aunt are posting on this site. My husband and I have refused to comment or pass judgement regarding the posting because each person needs to look deep within him or herself and express their feelings so they too may heal. Just remember that we held a Mother and Father tonight as they cried and made final decisions on how to say goodbye to Bryce...their pain is great. I will sign off now and put my son to bed knowing that Kim & Bret will never do this for Bryce again. Keep the prayers coming - they are greatly needed.



kahmom 12 years, 3 months ago

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. I know from experience this will be the hardest experience that a family will face. I lost a child do to a horrible accident almost 6 years ago. This will forever change this family. My heart goes out to you and I pray that you will be able to get through you grief.

MomMeg 12 years, 3 months ago

A special prayer tonight for everyone who was touched by little Bryce in his life and by his tragic passing. To his teachers, his classmates and friends, to his loving family and to his parents and siblings - know that he will always be with you, and that memories of him will stay with you always. Also to the driver and to his family, as I am sure you also suffer with this terrible tragic accident. Also - prayers for each of you who have used this forum as an opportunity to find fault and blame in the wake of a horrible accident - may you find peace within yourselves and not feel the need to attack two families already suffering.

jayhawkmomof3 12 years, 3 months ago

There has been a child killed, and he has more maturity than half of Lawrence. I understand feeling anger for this child in this horrible accident, but as human beings, show a little compassion. Compassion towards another person in this world, point your anger and resentment and grief towards improving this intersection. The lack of being able to see at this intersection is VERY dangerous, and as people of this community need to speak up. Bryce cannot speak up, lets band together and speak for him.

baby_girl 12 years, 3 months ago

I see my focus on parental supervision was attacked. I'm just stating the obvious. No, I don't have children, but I do have 2 nieces and 3 nephews that I love very much. I want be a parent one day and I KNOW my children will not go anywhere or do anything without supervision until they are well into they're early teens.

Maybe I'm wrong to say parental supervision; perhaps any kind of adult supervision would suffice.

Calliope877 12 years, 3 months ago

For_Bryce :

First of all, I am very saddened by your loss. Bryce must've been a very special little boy to receive so much love from his family, teachers, friends, and complete strangers. When I read the story, I thought of my 5-year-old niece, and I imagined the pain our family would go through if something this horrible were to happen to her.

I hope we never have to experience the pain you are feeling. I can only imagine the grief your family is suffering, and you have my prayers throughout this horrendous hardship.

The imbeciles who have attempted to post mean-spirited sentiments concerning your loss are a poor representation of the human spirit. I hope you keep in mind that the overall sentiments of the people who read this story are sympathetic to your tragedy. Empathy is crucial to the human condition, and those who lack it are not worthy of recognition.

Sincerely, K.M.

mztrendy 12 years, 3 months ago

Jacob you are such a good little boy. I'm sure you would make Bryce and his family very happy to do such a generous thing for them. God bless you. Its good to see kids that are as good as you. I bet your mommy is very very proud of you.

mztrendy 12 years, 3 months ago

no babygirl its not obvious. You weren't there and you don't know what happened. I have a three year old and we go on walks on a regular basis. I'm the first one to admit that I don't hold her little sweaty hand the entire way, sometimes I let her walk a few steps ahead of me. Now i admit I grab her as soon as i see a car, but you know what, sometimes things happen so fast, you don't always have the time you need. And his mom was there. She was supervising him, she just wasn't holding his hand. Do any of you that are parents ever let your kids ride their bikes while you are walking?

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

yawn well now that the squabbling is over I think it's about time for bed.

God Bless Bryce.

Kaley473 12 years, 3 months ago

Honestly mztrendy, No I haven't. I have 3 children ages 15, 10, and 6 and the only time my 2 younger children are ever allowed to ride their bikes is on the bike trail...It's far to dangerous to allow your young children to ride even while you walk behind...seriously I can barely get my child to listen on first command when I say pick up your toys, I'm not willing to take a chance that he won't stop when I ask him to in a life or death situation...As I expressed before, I am so very sorry for the loss of this sweet little boy and my prayers are with the family as well as the driver of the minivan who I am sure is suffering a great deal as well.

raine 12 years, 3 months ago

Just had to scroll looking for this address for donations ~so copying down here for others...

"As we stated earlier by his Uncle a "Memorial Fund for Bryce Olsen" has been set up with Douglas County Bank. (thank you to the Bank for your assistance this morning and kindness). You can make donations at any branch or mail your donations to

PO Box 429, Lawrence, KS 66044.

also some of you whose children go to prairie park might like to suggest to the school that they could let the children donate and plant a tree or bush and then put a small commerative plaque under it.. Woodlawn did this for my daughter and 2 other boys who died the same year. i think that it helped the children with their grief as well as me..i know whenever i get back to Lawrence i always visit it and ck the progress of Tori's tree. peace and may God's grace see you through..

Susan Mangan 12 years, 3 months ago

First, my condolences to the family. This is an absolute tragedy for all of them. I hope God provides them with strength and peace.

Second...I live in that area and I'm one of the many parents I know who have contacted the police department asking them to come out and watch for speeders. The city makes it sound like no one has ever complained because we haven't contacted the "traffic safety department", or whatever it's called. Apparently, they're in charge of reducing speeds, etc. No, I haven't called them, nor has anyone I know. But we have all contacted the police department about speeders with no response.

The city seems to me to be saying that, instead of asking them to enforce current laws, we should ask them to change the laws. If they aren't enforced anyway, what does it matter???

We would love speed bumps and lower speed limits, but without an occasional police presence, that can only accomplish so much. I watched 31 cars go through that intersection tonight in a one hour period and a total of 3 came to a complete stop. I know that isn't what happened in the wreck, but if a fatal wreck along with a memorial filled with flowers and teddy bears at that corner doesn't make them come to a stop, what will?

We will be going to the Traffic Safety Department now that we know it exists, but can't the police even try? I have never seen a single car pulled over in this neighborhood and I've been here for 6 years. I've seen more accidents on my street than police cars in most months and that just isn't even close to appropriate, in my opinion.

Time2LookWithin 12 years, 3 months ago

Every day we all make choices, some good some bad. If for those bad ones, we had the ability to fore-see the consequences, would we not change them? The choices that were made that day for this child of God, were made by all in attendence, the driver, Bryce and his Mom.

Its easy to find fault with those we don't know, with facts that aren't clear and issues that have gone long un-said.

Through-out this great city there are people who forget that driving is not a right, but instead a privaledge, one that must be earned each time we get behind the wheel.

Many a time when approaching a traffic light and we see it changing from green to yellow, what do we do, we put to the floor the accellerator. And all to often at least one vehicle is crossing in front of cross traffic that has the green. Good choice or bad, we've made in an instant.

Stop signs are much the same beast as traffic lights. Approaching the sign we make the conscious decission of where, when, and if we are going to stop.

We're supposed to stop with the front of the vehicle parallel to the sign and proceed slowly to the corner where we can see if it OK to turn. All too often we choose to stop at the corner, not at the sign. This puts our vehicle well over the cross walk, the one the pedestrian is supposed to have the right-of-way. Some think that, that sign is for other people, and disregard it entirerly only slowing down to make the turn. This maneuver is called by many names, The Philladelphia, Chicago and the L.A. Stop. It should be called instead the Morron's Stop.

At the intersection of Harper and 25 th Terrace, cars more often than not, stop at the corner not at the sign. I wasn't there, I wish I were perhaps the time line would have changed in Bryce's favor, but I wasn't. I can't change any of the choices that were made yesterday anymore than any of you can.

But what we can do is be pro-active. At intersections through-out the city, take down the license plate numbers of vehicles that don't stop at the signs. Perhaps to be posted on some forum or with the city. If people are speeding stand by the curb with hairdryers pointed at the oncoming car they'll slow down (hide the cord) and maybe next time think of slowing down the next time. If changes are need at intersections contact the traffic engineers at 832-3034 or 832-3035, if you have a proposal you can email them at:


Please pray for the family, and lets not forget all the other children that cross at that corner.

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