Early morning wreck kills two Tonganoxie men

Jacob Wyrick

Two 21-year-old men from Tonganoxie were killed early this morning in a car-semi truck accident near 21st and Iowa streets, according to Lawrence Police.

Those reported killed were Jacob Wyrick, driver of the 2001 Ford Mustang, and passenger Benjamin Pickert.

They were driving south on Iowa Street when they collided shortly before 2 a.m. with a semi tractor trailer driven by a 58-year-old man from Quebec, Canada. Police identified the truck driver as Paul Labourdette.

The wreck happened during heavy rains.

Police said Labourdette was heading north but had stopped in the street when he saw the Mustang spinning out of control, coming toward him.

Benjamin Pickert

“He was doing everything he could to avoid the accident,” LPD spokeswoman Kim Murphree said. “The car was spinning. It spun into and hit the tractor-trailer. Both of the 21-year-olds were pronounced dead at the scene.”

Murphree said speed, weather and alcohol would be investigated as possible contributing factors, but that it was too early to say for certain which of those played a role.

She asked anyone who may have seen the vehicle driving south on Iowa between Ninth Street and the scene before the wreck to contact police at 832-7501.

Murphree said she didn’t have information yet about whether the men were wearing seat belts. A complete report will be released Tuesday, she said.