Archive for Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Speed, wet roads, alcohol led to Tonganoxie men’s deaths

Preliminary accident report released this afternoon by Lawrence Police

July 19, 2006


Speed, wet roads and alcohol all were contributing factors in the wreck early Friday that killed two Tonganoxie men, according to a preliminary Lawrence Police report released this afternoon.

The report says early investigation of the wreck found the Ford Mustang driven by 21-year-old Jacob Wyrick was going at a "high rate of speed" on southbound Iowa Street shortly before it collided with a northbound tractor trailer near 21st Street.

The report also lists alcohol and the rain as contributing factors, but further details- such as a blood-alcohol level or the speed at which police believe Wyrick was driving - were not available Wednesday. Police still are working on a more detailed incident report.

Both Wyrick and his passenger, 21-year-old Ben Pickert, were wearing seat belts, according to the report.

Friends said the two men had planned to come to Lawrence that night to go to a local country bar, the Cadillac Ranch. The wreck happened shortly before 2 a.m.

Police said the driver of the tractor-trailer saw the Mustang spinning toward him and stopped in traffic to try to avoid a collision.


Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

PS the move on was for other people not just you.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

every one please move on from this it is time to get on as best as anyone can after a loss like this.

allmine 11 years, 8 months ago

why you busting momma she is not a bad person and she is thinking and saying the same as you tongie. Not very nice of you To the mothers ignore all the mean people on here, they do not matter.

GmasFarm 11 years, 8 months ago


Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

bye tongie hope you get the answers you are looking for on the reports but yes their mothers will know before they put it on here worked that way with my brother if that says anything to you.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

I think everyone should let this one go time to stop it all the ljw should just pull if off the site.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

yes I was refering to the forum only moving on from a loss takes time much time and must be lived one day at a time to use someone elses words. Tongie just let this forum go to the trash.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

and by yelling and screaming on here you are moving on how? And by keeping this forum on the most discussed list you are helping the moms on here how? I have not said anything bad about your friends and I Do not think all the things that have been said need to be repeated everyday for their mothers to read. So yes move on from this forum. You have them in your heart, that is what counts.

atat_at_at_at 11 years, 8 months ago

So much anger. Does everybody in tongie have a permanent bone these days?

the_truth 11 years, 8 months ago

By the way mike_blur I just read your profile, now it all makes sense. Definitely not the type one would take home to meet mother, if you know what I mean.

justsomewench 11 years, 8 months ago

miguel, read the report. the officer never said alcohol was a contributing factor. they found it, but said that their best assessment was that the boys were driving too fast for the current conditions (rainy). no sense in lashing out at everyone.

the_truth 11 years, 8 months ago

atat_at_at_at, you need to pay attention. Nothing I said was in anger, just a list of the facts.

the_truth 11 years, 8 months ago

justsomewench, you also need to pay attention. I didn't say 75 organs, I said 75 families. Are you aware that you have bones, tissue, veins, cornea, etc. in your body? Obsiously not.
And, swbsow, perhaps I don't belong on here. But, I'm tired of hearing people tell me that my son is being dragged through the mud, when he didn't do one thing wrong. I will defend my son from all the slime of the world because they did not know him. I'm sick of you people lambasting these two guys.

the_truth 11 years, 8 months ago

And one more interesting fact. I noticed that NO WHERE was it stated that both Ben and Jake were organ donors. That between the two of them, there were possibly 150 families that were helped. Were one of those families yours? Or, maybe you, yourself? Or maybe knowing how these two died, if you were offered their organs, maybe you should decline, you know, just based on the principle of the whole thing. Do any of you have the guts to have the "donor" sticker attached to your license? I doubt it.

Ditchdoctorems 11 years, 8 months ago

Every talks about the 2 youg men that lost there lives on that night, My thoughts go to the Police and Fire EMS personal that were woke up in the middle of the night and had to go to the wreck and work to get them out of the vehicle. I can tell you from personal experence that the men and woman that had to work the wreck didn't sleep well for a few days and when they drive by the spot in the road they will almost always remember that wreck. Wrecks like this wreck affect more people than just those that were in the accident.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

tongie I have only been posting when I see some one has been so mean and cold and not let this forum not be retired, I did not mean move on in the meaning in which I think you took it at first that will take time alot of time trust me. It has made me mad to see some of these posts and wants to make me scream but that will not help. I do hope people will stop writing on here is all I have meant by move on. My hat goes off to the mothers that have shown great restaint in their postings because I would not have been so nice.

kato829 11 years, 8 months ago

observer- the person you called a flat out liar is ben's mother! so, as a collective group of ben and jake's friends, you have managed to not only insult, but you also just added fuel to the fire. everyone on here has said that she should not be reading this forum, and that she should seek help. Well now, i for one, would be so pissed that anyone could say some of the things that you all have. anger is part of the healing process, so let her be. i'm sure that there is another story that you could be posting on and pissing some other family off in the process. move on, go hug your kids if you have them. wendee

tongie 11 years, 8 months ago

No that doesn't mean anything to me actually. I just have one question for you momma why do you keep getting on this site and posting things, you didn't know the victims. You are helping keep this thread open by posting on it over and over.

Allmine: I never once said momma was a bad person or anything even close to that. I only posted on here because I was friends with hese two boys and I am here to defend them and put facts on here when people are trying to say sh*t without being able to back up what they say. I just don't appreciate momma telling everyone to move on when it's not that easy after you lose two people who were close to you. I don't think she was trying to be mean I was just stating that she needs to watch what she says because some people won't take things the way she was meaning for them to come out.

justsomewench 11 years, 8 months ago

miguel, you make a good point. you find me to be nice, some might not. some might find me obnoxious, rude, boring, stupid. in an online forum, it's difficult to sum up the whole of someone based on a few random words, or an article, or hearsay, or...

at the end of the day, though, what matters is how you treat the ones who really matter. no one posting on here can change the fact that these boys do matter. they're anyone's son, brother, friend, classmate. pray for them that they do not have to endure the same loss and forgive them for an insensitivity they can't comprehend until they're in your shoes.

best to all of you in your time of loss.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 8 months ago

So the samples are still in St. Louis, and are not even completed yet? The results are not available?

One of the friends posted the other day that both mothers had already received copies of the toxology reports.

Which is true?

tongie 11 years, 8 months ago

Mommaeffort I never said you have posted bad things I was simply stating that some people cannot just move on. Also, you are telling other people to move on, but you post on this site more than I do. I don't post on here that much. The only reason that I did today was because people were calling Ben's mom a liar and I felt that being friends with them that I should back up what she was saying. I'm sure Ben's mom knows more about the wreck and the alcohol levels than anyone else on here so to say she was lying is just stupid. Momma you frustrate me anyways because you post on so many forums and you probably know nothing about any of them. I'm starting to think you have nothing better to do with your time. So why don't you move on from this site since you didn't know these boys. I came back on here to see if anything had been posted about the toxology report or anything like that and Ben's mom posting on here backed up things I had tried to tell people before, so I am actually glad that I did get back on here.

justsomewench 11 years, 8 months ago

btw, mike, i took at look at the report on the LPD website and it appears to me that the officer's opinion (page 2, near the top) of apparent contributing factors (and all that apply are supposed to be noted), attribute only driver 1 driving too fast for conditions and the rainy environment as the full list of contributing factors. even though the wreck had inventoried alcohol, that same officer seemed to have made the determination that it wasn't a factor. i may be misreading it, but it looks pretty straight forward. reading the report as such, i think i'd withhold final judgment until the tox report comes back.

tongie 11 years, 8 months ago

mommaeffortx2 I have noticed that you post on every single forum on the ljw website pretty much and if you haven't noticed no one gives a sh*t about your comments. Tell us to move on, who are you to tell me to move on after I have lost two good friends, yes I am dealing with the fact that I will never see them again and I try not to let it effect my everyday life. I get up go to work, go home, cook, do laundry, whatever else needs to be done, but that doesn't mean that I can just move on from this lose. I can only imagine how you think it is possible for these families to just move on. Did you know that Jake was an only child? Yes, he had step-sisters and brothers, but do you know what it's like to lose your only kid. I don't know what it's llike but I doubt his mom can just "move on". I know you are just trying to be nice or whatever and you haven't posted anything mean but don't get on here and tell people to just move on cuz it's really not that simple.

tongie 11 years, 8 months ago

If you people are going to post on other peoples posts make sure you read them correctly. I have also talked to Jakes mom and she has told me the same things that Bens mom is posting on here, so for you to sit here and call her a liar is outrageous. No mother would just get on here and lie about her sons death. And I also know for a fact that Ben and Jake were both donors, I have talked to many people who will verify Bens moms posts on them helping the families with their donations. And also it is hard for me to believe that they could smell alcohol on Ben and Jake when Ben supposedly didn't even go into the Ranch not only that, but MOST of the time if you smell alcohol on someone it's on the breath, if they had died how did the cop smell alcohol. As for you Mike Blur if you are 42 years old shouldn't you have something better to do then post on here as many times as you have. Do you have a family? If you do go spend time with them cuz you never know when something tradgic like this will happen to the people you love and care about, it would be sad to see something like this happen to you cuz I know what you would be thinking afterwards, "man I wish I would have spent more time with the people that I care about instead of posting on forums that I don't know anything about".

justsomewench 11 years, 8 months ago

truth, split hairs if you wish, but you said "That between the two of them, there were possibly 150 families that were helped." 75 each was just an estimate.

frankly, by showing up here and 'defending' your son, all you are really doing is perpetuating the conversation. that's how it works. volley all you want, but if you want it to stop, you might make the first move. this forum discussion will not be remembered by society as anyone's permanent profile. most participants will forget the banter within hours of posting. i think you're only serving to re-open your own wounds by participating.

i've said nothing negative about these boys, so you can direct your continued battle elsewhere. by all means, if any good could have come out of this, i hope it has.

the_truth 11 years, 8 months ago

mike_blur,observer, The officer had no proof. Neither one of you know what you are talking about. But, I don't care. I think you are sick to download a police report for a wreck that you weren't involved in. You two are the ones that don't know what you are talking about. You keep posting your crap, because it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is these two young men were loved and are in a better place. As for you two, facts are facts kids, and you two are idiots. That's obvious to anyone who reads this. Now, go on sit in your little room, download all the police reports you can, imagine that you know what you are talking about because you've seen one too many episodes of CSI.

the_truth 11 years, 8 months ago

Well, Mr. Upstanding citizen, I don't care if LJW calls you because their bottom line is selling news. They have no facts to back up their story. They are selling papers based on emotions and not facts. I don't care if the president calls you, I KNOW the truth. I speak the TRUTH. These two young men did not spend their free time hurling stuff at passing cars, or harrassing passerbys. Ben worked full time and went to school full time, and was involved with his girlfriend. Therefore, this left very little time for anything else. As a matter of fact, when I went to Lawrence for an afternoon of fun with my friends, we were lambasted with all kinds of rude remarks from people on the street. I didn't run around behind the cars to see what county these jerks were from, I just figured they were idiots. I don't care if half of Lawrence knows you. And if this will help you realize that I know the truth, then let me tell you. I am the mother of one of these young men. And you sicken me.

Mike Blur 11 years, 8 months ago

the_truth: I'd like to address a few discrepancies in your posts.

I have a copy of the accident report, and I have read it. I downloaded it off the internet--it's free and not hard to find. To prove it to you--the four witnesses listed on page 1 live on Lilac, 14th, 7th, and Pinecone. Got it? I've got the truth here.

Point one: You said Jake's insurance company is Allstate. On the police report, State Farm is listed; last 3 characters of the policy number are 16B.

If Ben and Jake visited Chase Court Apartments after leaving the Ranch, they exited Chase Court Apartments via two ways. Either 19th or 21st. Leaving via 19th Street entailed a stop at the flashing red on the uphill stop at 19th and Iowa; they would have to turn left and gain a lot of speed before spinning out of control ONE BLOCK AFTER turning onto Iowa. If they left on 21st, it would have been one-half-block north of the impact site. In short: Coupled with the testimony of the eyewitness who saw them at 15th and Iowa seconds before impact, it is absolutely impossible that Jake and Ben visited Chase Court Aparments just before the wreck.

Alcohol IS a factor because it was stated in the police report. I direct your attention to the bottom of page 2, the box listed "Substance Use." The officer marked two boxes--AC (Alcohol Contributed) and AP (Alcohol Present). That means they had open containers of alcohol in the vehicle at the time if impact.

From the diagram on page 4, it appears that they skidded/spun out of control for over 500 feet before impact. The truck driver was in the far (slow) lane northbound--and according to the diagram, the Mustang hit the semi on the PASSENGER SIDE of the semi. Debris from the Mustang was scattered well to the north of the Mustang, and well to the south of the long-trailer truck, as well as 4 of the 5 lanes of N-S traffic.

An lastly, it pains me to say this, but they were not likely organ donors. If Ben and Jake were transported directly to the Shawnee County Morgue, as it says in the police report, the organs and tissues most likely had not stayed "viable" enough for the hospital to harvest the organs and find donors who could use the organs and tissues in time. A more like scenario for organ donation is if they survived the wreck, were transported to the hospital, and then died--whereupon the family would promptly be asked if organ donation could be performed.

I've got the "organ donor" sticker on my DL. I don't think it takes a lot of "guts"; merely an acknowledgement that I'm done with my body; if there's anything useful, have at it.

I wish Ben and Jake's friends would stop saying things like "just wait 'til the toxicology report comes" because I'm sure they are not going to like the findings.

the_truth 11 years, 8 months ago

mike_blur, I'm sorry you lack intelligence, and I'm proud of you for knowing how to download a police report. Take your little pea brain to where I stated that Ben was involved in a PRIOR accident, and the insurance carrier was ALLSTATE.
Next error on your behalf: I CONTACTED, and SPOKE with the forensics department at the morgue, and I SPOKE with the District Attorney's office, they both stated that they are upset that alcohol has been blamed, because the samples are in St. Louis and the results are NOT available. Therefore, the responding officer has no way of knowing if alcohol was involved.

3 in your long list of mistakes, I SPOKE with someone who knew Ben and Jake, and they were FOLLOWING Ben and Jake.

4 in your immense stupidity, I SPOKE with the morgue in Topeka, they reported each and EVERY organ, tissue, etc., that would be harvested and what the uses of each donation would be.

5 remove your donor sticker from your license, I would hate to see someone absorb your stupidity just by being a transplant patient.

Mike Blur 11 years, 8 months ago

Truth: I have never seen any episodes of CSI. Call me a kid, I'm 42 years old. I will agree with observer (for probably the first time ever, obs!) and call you out as a flat-out liar. You really want to know why I am on this subject in particular?

Here's why. For years, my beloved hometown, Lawrence, Kansas, has been subjected to the infestation of kids-age-15-25-ish--who park at 9th and Mass in their souped-up 'Stangs and F350s or whatever, with LV county license plates, harrassing passersby and throwing stuff at passing cars. However, whenever I would pass by, these Tongoloids wouldn't say anything to me--but they would intimidate couples, and women who dared walk Mass Street by themselves. Now they're infecting the roadways of Lawrence, and it's time Lawrence has stood up to the Tongoloid invasion. (My Tongie friends--who are NOT Tongoloids--will agree with me.)

How many times do I have to tell you, "the liar," the responding officer was there. He had all the proof there, right in front of him. There's one big difference between you and me, as far as truthfulness goes. See my name? You don't see an "anonymous" next to it. An LJW employee called my house to verify my identity. (Half of Lawrence knows me anyway.) I know by doing that, my posts will be considered more credible that someone who hides behind a handle like "the_truth." Get over yourself.

Mike Blur 11 years, 8 months ago

the_truth (gawd, what a load): Okay, I misread Allstate/State Farm. I read the last sentence as a closing statement to your entire post. 2: The responding officer did have a way of knowing whether or not alcohol was involved. He could smell both Jake and Ben and note the open containers in the car. Neither the DA's office nor the "forensics department" were at the crash site, so their opinion (if they gave one) wouldn't hold merit. 3: Doesn't make sense. Following them from where? From the Ranch to Chase Court? From Chase Court to the accident site? They would have witnessed the accident site as well. Are their names on the police report as witnesses?
4: If this is true, they said this to you to placate the family. Ben and Jake's organs would have putrefied by the time they got to the morgue. Let me put it this way--would you drink milk that has been left out 6-8 hours? Would you allow your son or daughter to accept organs that have been DEAD for 6-8 hours? This is maddening. 5: My intelligence or stupidity has nothing to do with what will happen to my organs. If my organs are donated, I sincerely hope my family will not hold me up as a "hero" that saved many lives. Hell, if none of my organs are donated, I wouldn't care. I'd be dead.

I can take you ad hominem attacks, "truth," I'm inured to them. If I'm stupid, then so be it, I'll agree with you. But you must admit--the facts are on my side, and not yours.

Let's wait for that toxicology report.

the_truth 11 years, 8 months ago

I would like to thank Miguel for standing up for these two. I would like to fill you in on the FACTS: Jake and Ben did not arrive at the Ranch until about 11:00 pm. Ben was initially sitting in his girlfriend's car because he had wanted to leave. His girlfriend told him to just go home with her, but Ben didn't want Jake driving home alone, so when Jake came out he left with him. Witnesses saw that Ben had quite a bit of money in his billfold when he left, and he was wearing his watch as always, but neither was returned to the family. As a matter of fact, the cop that gave the mother back the wallet started going through the wallet in front of her, asking all kinds of questions about each item in Ben's wallet, which was none of his business, just a power play. A witness said that Jake and Ben had driven by the apartment that Ben was going to be moving into in August (Chase Courts) which was about a couple of blocks from the wreck. The only mistake Ben made that night was getting into Jake's car and it cost him his life. Witnesses that had talked to Jake upon leaving the Ranch said that he seemed fine, that he hadn't had much to drink while they were there, or they wouldn't have let him drive. Yes, Jake's back tires were balding, yes he was speeding, but no results from toxicology have been released and won't be until 4-6 weeks. Therefore, I'm wondering how all of you people know for a fact that alcohol was a factor. I saw on here that someone said that if the shoe were on the other foot, than the families would be feeling different about this wreck. Meaning, if someone hit these two young men, instead of them causing this wreck. Well, it DID happen to Ben. 2 cars were racing down Broadway at 1:00 in the afternoon, and 1 car hit the car that Ben was riding in head on going somewhere around 60-80 mph. All 5 people in the car were taken to the hospital, some with very serious injuries. Yes, initially the family was mad at the driver, but then the frustration turned to the insurance company, ALLSTATE, because they did not want to pay the benefits. So, the family of Ben has been on both sides of this equation, and neither one carries any justice or relief.

tongie_stud 11 years, 8 months ago

you know i dont understand why ppl are so stupid they have to say stuff that isnt true an dont know nothing say if u dont have nething to say then dont write stuff on here

atat_at_at_at 11 years, 8 months ago

Yup, I can feel the not-anger here tonight from a certain poster.

nonimbyks 11 years, 9 months ago

There needs to be a roundabout there too!

Sigmund 11 years, 9 months ago

Hormones, Alcohol, and Petrol. It's a killer combo.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 9 months ago

I'm so sorry for their families. What a horrible sad tragedy.

Bobbi Walls 11 years, 9 months ago

Tongie has lost kids before to alcohol, and how many of you have ever driven a car, after just one beer... They did not say the blood alcohol levels of Jacob or Ben... There are way to many hypocrites in Lawrence, just because you have never been caught, does not mean that you can drink and drive, and then throw stones, at 2 deceased young men... People in glass houses should not throw stones..

kato829 11 years, 9 months ago

I was the Cheeseburger last night too, and I can tell you that 9 out of 10 people that were outside with us HAD drivers for the ride home. So nobody can tell me that these kids did not learn anything.

sheldon 11 years, 9 months ago

I don't think that drinking should be validated as a REASON for the crash, as off as it may sound. I was driving a similarly equipt mustang down the road one night, DEAD SOBER, when I ran into some rain. I was not speeding nor was I driving out of control, I was just cruising in a high gear and the car started to hydroplain. I was going straight down the road and suddenly the car started doing 360's out of control. I was lucky enough not to hit anything and straighten it out safely. The reason they crashed, in my oppinion is because the car had really wide tires that are by no means made to tread water, they are made for traction. Jake and Ben were both car guys and could very well have been doing the exact same thing f they were not drinkng at all. Once you hit speed with these tires they skate on the water, I've seen it seveal times. They made a bad choice but drinking did not kill them, I garrantee that they would'nt have crashed if the streets were DRY. I stated this all as "my opinion" so I am respecting everyone elses, but nobody will change my mind on this.

conserv26 11 years, 9 months ago

I agree with Sheldon totally. I had a 2001 Mustang right out of college and found myself doing a 360 on wet pavement one night somewhere on a vacant four lane highway in OP. I was making a left turn in heavy rain and just hit the gas slightly. Before I knew it I was spinning in the middle of the highway and thank God no one was coming! After I regained my composure I got the car going, very slowly, in the right direction. I am no longer a fan of rear-drive cars, they are terrible in rain and snow and very dangerous in sub-optimal conditions. There may have been other variables in this accident but a little bit of speed, wet pavement, and a Mustang are a bad combination. I shudder everytime I see a young teen driving one of these cars that their parents probably bought for them...not a good choice for an inexperienced driver. These guys were "car guys" and it still happened to them. Be careful out there people...

dthroat 11 years, 9 months ago

OK, i shouldn't do this and if any family or friends are here, DO NOT read this. I don't care to get threats and learn how much of an insensitive ba** I am.

I have sat by while letting all the friends grieve and tried to keep my mouth shut, but obviously even though the preliminary report came out people are STILL trying to make excuses.

I KNOW (check my moniker) they were seen driving recklessly leaving the Ranch, driving recklessly a couple blocks away, and recklessly and speeding just prior to the wreck. If they were such "car guys" they would have known what rain, high speeds, and OK, rear wheel drive, will do in pouring down rain.

Oh, and they were seen drinking at the Ranch (and not Pepsi). Have I done some of this myself.?? Yes, but I tried not to drive recklessly while doing it, AND I was lucky. But let's stop making them heros and think about how they could have killed my kids or yours that night. Or even somebody who has to work nights and would have just been there.

I have ranted enough, and you all have fun bashing me, but I finally said what I want and hope I didn't offend as I am truly sorry two lives have been lost.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years, 9 months ago

As a rule of thumb, any time a post has to begin "I shouldn't do this and...don't read it," its author was likely right--(s)he shouldn't have done.

dthroat 11 years, 9 months ago


You help validate some of my point. If these were such "car guys" they should/would have known this car didn't handle well in the rain (particularly if it had wide tires) and should not have been driving the way it was witnessed.

And, while not Marion, I am going to bed and will read the hate mail in the morn.

Mike Blur 11 years, 9 months ago

Yup, I worked at Gumby's for 4 years, and I've driven that stretch of road probably thousands of times running pizzas up to Daisy Hill. I've seen my share of crazy drunks driving along Iowa that time of night, and I'm not surprised to hear that this happened. If they had to crash into something, it was fortunate it was a semi, because there could've been more fatalities--as someone here already pointed out. Could've been one of my delivery bretheren, or me that was hit if it was three-four years ago.

This was not kids out for "harmless fun" as said by one poster a few days ago. In fact, it's about as reckless as it gets--as I've said before, I've been on that strip of road many, many times--seen some pretty wild stuff--but I've never witnessed anyone out of control like that.

Does the Ranch still have one dollar anything nights on Thursdays (the night these guys were there?) Whenever I'd drive by there on Thursday nights, there were lines out the door.

Berserk 11 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, you can't blame the mustang or the rain for this one, I have driven mustangs firebirds and rear wheel drive oldsmobiles in on snow, ice and rain.

The car handles as well as you want it to in everything except ice. If this was ice, I might be thinking; poor guys. But it was an overpowered 2001 Rousch Mustang, and an inexperienced driver. 300+ horse power.

You can look at the damage and the impact position and tell that before they were spinning, the car was in excess of 80mph on Iowa!

lawrencephilosopher 11 years, 9 months ago

I myself lived through a fatality accident at Myers circle in K.C. in 1977, 29 years ago, and I still think about Todd Stanely Van Cleave everyday.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 9 months ago

"really even if they were speeding and drinking( blood alcohol content not a available) there is still no justification for ripping them apart for some alleged charachter defects in life because certain posters want to be right."

This from the person who wanted Ms. Gentry to be drawn and quartered for her offense. And she didn't harm anyone.

What do you think should have happened to the boy who was driving if he'd lived?

Yes, it's a tragedy. But one that could have been prevented. Kids need to think about these kind of things, and stop thinking they're invincible. One night of "fun" isn't worth it. It's not "fun" anymore, is it?

I have a rear-wheel drive car (a Chevy Cavalier), and I have never spun out of control on wet pavement. Lots of people have rear-wheel drive, and they don't spin out of control.

Guess what? Those posted speed limits are for optimal road conditions. When the road is wet or icy, you're expected to use a little common sense and adjust (i.e., lower) your speed accordingly. Look at the Kansas driver's manual.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 9 months ago

Well, gee, I don't know, but mine is rear-wheel drive. It's also a 1989 model. Runs like a charm, too.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 9 months ago

Well, let's see...

Some family could have been returning home from a long trip, and just happened to be there at 2 am.

Someone's child could have been ill, requiring a trip to the hospital or doctor, and just happened to be there at 2 am.

Maybe the littly tyke was cranky and couldn't sleep, and mom and dad decided that taking a ride might calm them down, and just happened to be there at 2 am.

There are all kinds of reasons people could have their children out at 2 am, and still be decent parents.

What are you, the morality police? Then talk to all those kids who seem to think that it's okay to go out and drink and drive, as long as you're having a "good ole time".

brujablanco 11 years, 9 months ago

Posted by enforcer (anonymous) on July 20, 2006 at 9:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

what decent parent would have their kids out at 2am?

Hmmmmm the same decent parent that might not know what type of pervert their child is exposed to? Make up your mind. Are parents repsonisble for their kids or not?

JPTongie 11 years, 9 months ago

We can all sit here all day and talk about all of the "What if" stories but in the end it doesn't change the result of what happened that night. Yeah "what if" a family had been coming home from a trip but that obviously didn't happen, did it. What if the rain hadn't been but an hour later that night, none of you would be reading this article and none of us would be grieving the loss. Most likely a family would not be driving home from a trip or let alone at all on a Thursday night or even at 2a.m. in the morning.

By the way, a little history with Jake, he has owned and driven a Mustang all of his life. In fact the one prior to his Roush was a lot more powerful. He is not an inexperienced driver and that discredits a lot of your posts showing that you do not know one thing about the people involved or the situation at hand. That leads back to the what if comments and how pointless they are. I have owned all rear wheel drive cars (of the many I have owned) since I have been able to drive, 2 have been mustangs. One was fairly stock and another was well built and they both acted the same exact way in the wet or even on perfectly dry pavement. Mustangs are known for their wheel spin and lack of traction in the rain under cruising conditions do to a very light rear end.

Also CrazyKS, there has never been a REAR wheel drive cavalier (unless someone actually did the conversion aftermarket and slapped a v8 in as well, which has been done) and even if there was the comparison would be apples to oranges because the largest engine that a cavalier has ever seen was a 2.8L V6. The torque numbers not even comparable. Jake's car had a 4.6L (nearly double the displacement).

Lastly, until the final toxicology report comes out we won't know how much alcohol played into this. Yeah they went to the Ranch and yeah I'm sure they drank but how much? Jake could have easily been under the limit of .080 (about 3-4 beers depending on your body structure) and in the state Kansas is perfectly legal to operate a motor vehicle. Another fact that some of you do not know is a witness who talked to Jake when he came out of the Ranch said that Jake was walking perfectly fine, no slur of speech, and no other signs of intoxication. Again, do not state information based off of your own opinion unless you have the facts to back it up. They are pointless and discredits you.

tongie 11 years, 9 months ago

see_what_u_can_do You are an idiot I think most people know what he JPTongie was saying when he said all his life he meant ever since he could drive. I think that drving a mustang for 7 years is not considered inexperienced.

reginafliangie 11 years, 9 months ago

I'm thinking if the wet road was a major factor, can you really hydroplane in 40 mph road? I drive k10 everyday and during really crappy weather, I find I can do between 50 and 60 and still maintain the road in a MUSTANG, during complete down pour. If you are an expert at the type of car your driving then it would probably be a good guess knowing what the car can and can't do in safe conditions.

I got a spouse, and male children and for the life of me I don't understand what is so cool about peeling out and fish tailing your car. I think its a male thing and being cool.

Also, I know people who are act, walk, talk, etc perfectly fine who have been drinking, but have them take a breath test, they would fail. Not everybody who is over the legal limit is "falling down" drunk. Some people can't actually beleive that they are legally drunk because they feel normal and function very well, but according to the law, they are drunk, so I don't think that walking and acting ok are a testiment if they were legally drunk.

tongie 11 years, 9 months ago

Well considereing people can have a child at 13 or 14 and I am older than that considering I said I was good friends with both of them and they are 21. I am not trying to say that they were not in the wrong, they did make a mistake, I'm just sick of people posting things when I guarantee most of them have done the same exact thing before. And actually they did ask me to go with them that night so yeah I am thankful that I no one else got hurt, but you don't have to slam this two for doing something that pretty much everyone has done before in their life. Can you tell me that you have never drank and drove before and be honest.

Also to regina I have hydroplaned in lawrence before doing the speed limit so you are on K-10 thats not where Jake and Ben were when they wrecked Lawrence roads are uneven in places don't tell me they aren't because I lived in lawrence.

tongie_stud 11 years, 9 months ago

ok overniteright dont u think ur upstetting alot of ppl saying what ur sayin think if u were in this situation an this happend to u an ur family was writing on this an i started sayin all these things about u would that make u feel good? ben an jake were to good kids an friends....obsevally u didnt know me a favor an stop writing bad things on here cause ill ur trying to do is hurt ppl more than there already hurt

reginafliangie 11 years, 9 months ago

Tongie: I was asking if it was possible to hydroplane at that speed. Not making a statement. I know the roads of Lawrence like the back of my hand since I have lived here all my life. I knew Iowa st when it was the last main road before you hit county land just west of there. I just have never hydroplaned on a city street, just asking a question.

tongie 11 years, 9 months ago

Don't even write back to observer trust me he's not worth anyones time. Since the paper first came out observer has not said one positive things, only putting down ben and jake, so trust me don't waste your time on observer. I have looked at other posts that observer has wrote on observer is just a negative person. I guarantee observer has made mistakes to but probably wouldn't admit to it. This is a forum about two of are friends that died and all observer can ask is if you know how to compose a sentence. What an idiot.

JPTongie 11 years, 9 months ago

Depending on the tire application and condition of the tires, yes, it is possible for a low speed hydroplane. I know for a fact Jake had 295/35/18 (295mm wide) series tire on the rear and they were BGoodrich G-Force KDW-2's. They are an awesome dry handling tires but fair in the wet and even worse if there isn't much tread left. (I know because I have the same exact tire on my car except 245/40/17). That wide (roughly 11"-12" wide for the non-metrically inclined people) and summer performance tire paired with the heavy down pours from that night I do not see any reason why hydroplaning was not a factor.

All of the variables were there. High speed was already confirmed by law enforcement and just simply looking at the pictures alone can tell you. It also hadn't rained in a long while till that night and it's common knowledge that the first rain after a dry period makes the roads the most slick due to it bringing all of the oil etc. from the vehicles to the surface of the road. It was a tradgic mistake caused by many coincidences. It is a lesson to all of us, I just wish it didn't have to be this way.

Observer: Make comments like that is very childish. Trying to belittle and pass judgment on someone because they make a couple errors while typing [which there are many people that aren't excellent typists] is just childish. Tongie stud's comment was very easily comprehendible. That's very low . . . Grow up!

Linda Endicott 11 years, 9 months ago

Well, my bad. My car may be a front-wheel drive, and I just don't know it. Doesn't matter. Regardless of whether you're driving a front or rear wheel drive car, you still should know how it handles on both dry and wet pavement, and if you've had the car for any length of time at all, you shouldn't be peeling out or speeding on wet pavement if you know your car has much less control that way.

I have, however, owned many rear-wheel drive cars in my life. You're probably too young to remember the time when front-wheel drive was virtually unheard of. And even with all those rear-wheel drive cars, I never once lost control on a wet road.

But then, I wasn't speeding to begin with. And don't say he wasn't speeding. There were people who saw him.

JPTongie 11 years, 9 months ago

When did I mention he was not speeding? In fact, I clearly stated high speed was a factor. I never said that mistakes were not made (easily correctable ones at that). I actually again stated there were mistakes made. Try and read all of my posts before commenting back.

You talk like I have no clue what I am talking about when it comes to cars or driving in general.

You just backed up my reasoning even more of people on here passing judgment without even knowing the person they are judging. So you know me a little better I have owned more cars than most people do in a lifetime (10 to be exact going on 11 here in a couple weeks). All of them have been rear wheel drive and all have been manuals. I have never been in an accident nor have I lost control of my vehicles. I am getting ready to obtain my S.C.C.A. license for autocrossing, and I have been around and have worked on cars for pretty much my whole life. (and yes, this time I mean since I was a kid for what ever smartass commented before)

You see, I can judge your comments on driving based off you not knowing which pair of wheels drove your car in the first place. Also, so you know, a front wheel drive car handles the complete opposite of a rear wheel drive car. A front wheel drive car will handle much much better in the rain than most rear wheel drive cars.

I'm really starting to think that you guys have nothing better to do so you try to find something to argue about. That seems to be how most online chat forums are which is why I try to avoid them as best as possible.

JPTongie 11 years, 9 months ago

One thing I forgot, hydroplaning is not any form of "peeling out" or "excessive acceleration". It is actually where a film of water on the surface causes the tires to lose contact (a.k.a. traction) with the road resulting in an uncontrolled swaying of the front or rear end. It can also cause you to lose complete control of the vehicle and go in a speed induced spin. (like what happened here) It has nothing to do with "peeling out" and in fact it's actaully caused when you are driving completly normlal and proper and go through a large puddle or drive in a heavy down pour where there is excess water on the road ways.

Again, never once did we say he was or wasn't peeling out but in fact we meant hydroplaning.

JPTongie 11 years, 9 months ago

One thing I forgot, hydroplaning is not any form of "peeling out" or "excessive acceleration". It is actually where a film of water on the surface causes the tires to lose contact (a.k.a. traction) with the road resulting in an uncontrolled swaying of the front or rear end. It can also cause you to lose complete control of the vehicle and go in a speed induced spin. (like what happened here) It has nothing to do with "peeling out" and in fact it's actaully caused when you are driving completly normal and proper and go through a large puddle or drive in a heavy down pour where there is excess water on the road ways.

Again, never once did we say he was or was not peeling out but in fact we meant hydroplaning.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 9 months ago

The points are, Tongie, that he shouldn't have been driving drunk (and yes, you can be legally drunk without slurring your words), and he shouldn't have been driving that fast on a wet road if he knew his car didn't handle well in those conditions (and I would assume he knew this).

Yes, mistakes, easily avoidable ones, and since he didn't avoid them, he paid the ultimate price for those mistakes, and so did his friend.

Yes, other people have made mistakes, even the same ones, and lived to tell about it afterward. Others have also learned from their mistakes and decided never to do such a dumb thing again. Let's hope that their friends learn from their mistakes that night, instead of just simply arguing with others that somehow it shouldn't matter because they were such great guys and just out having a "good ole time".

I guess I am biased on this issue, considering that I have known so many young people who do this kind of stupid stuff, live to tell about it, and actually brag about it to others. And then they go out and do the same thing again, because it's "fun". Eventually, their luck will run out.

Had they ever done this kind of stuff before? If so, they were far old enough to realize that it was dumb to do it again. Turning them into martyrs won't teach anyone anything.

Oh, yeah...whether my car is front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive (and I'm just using your supposed expertise here), I have not had any kind of accident in over 15 years. So I fail to see what that has to do with the price of grapes in China.

JPTongie 11 years, 9 months ago

And again, when did I say he was in the right when he was drinking and driving. I just said that until the toxicology report is released there shouldn't be anmmore assumptions that he was trashed beyond belief. You people really should ready my comments all the way through and not what you want to hear.

It amazes me how blind people can be and you stating that you are biased on the situation shows me that you only want to read what you want to read and will ignore the rest.

JPTongie 11 years, 9 months ago

CrazyKS: I fail to se eyour point on your last paragraph. Umm, congratulations? If you meant it in response to my comment stating "You see, I can judge your comments on driving based off you not knowing which pair of wheels drove your car in the first place." I meant that comment to be an example of how I can pass judgment by using facts presented by you. Nothing more.

Also, I really think you should read my post I made at 10:29a.m. and then the one made at 1:10 p.m. and more specifically the second paragraph.

reginafliangie 11 years, 9 months ago

JPTongie: As much as I love reading your stuff. I think I do know what the definition of hydroplaining is. I just have never heard of it happening in a 40mph zone. I am sure it can with the right conditions. And I guess with the tires and rear drive issues with the car, it did play a part. But unfor somebody did witness them "peeling out" at the stop lights so I am thinking that with the speed was more of an issue. But thanks for auto shop 101.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 9 months ago

hydroplaning happens when there is to much water on the road and tires do not have a good or any grip on the roadway rear or front does not matter. And yes the faster you go does come into play.

JPTongie 11 years, 9 months ago

Regina, I didn't say it could or couldn't happen in a 40mph zine. It is plausible that someone can go faster than 40mph in a 40 zone AND I stated that high speed played into effect in this. I apologize for writing so much that alot of my information was forgotten or missed. I think we all are somewhat on the same page. Meaning, that this was a big coincidence of driver errors and uncontrollable variables that caused this accident. Could this have been avoided...definately yes, should this have been avoided...definately yes, will this be the last time that something like this happens...definately no, unfortunately.

This is however a lesson for all of us that death is real and and we all aren't invincible as much as some of us would like to think. Again i reiterate, it is so unfortunate that we had to learn this way.

JPTongie 11 years, 9 months ago

see_what_u_can_do: Sorry for you incompetence for your ability to correct one of my simple typing errors. I meant read instead of ready. If you need any more explanation well I'm sorry you are on your own because that comment is fully understandable to anyone with the basic education.

borrowedwings 11 years, 9 months ago

I cannot believe how incredibly insensitive these posts are. Yes, these guys made mistakes. Mistakes that were huge. Mistakes that cost lives. Mistakes that could have cost even more lives. That is evident. Every one of these boys' friends and every member of their families realizes this and would have given anything for these boys to not make those mistakes. It is unfortunate that two young men were lost, regardless of the reason. Many people are feeling more grief than they ever imagined possible at the loss of someone so close to them. Many people are angry and confused, which are two emotions that easily team up with grief, at the way these boys died. So why must we, who were fortunate enough not to experience the pain the way these people will have to everyday, rub salt into their wounds? Why must we be so insensitive as to debate details and dehumanize their loved ones? Why must we, when they come for support, offer them only rejection and pain? And when they stand up for themselves and ask for you not to judge their friend/family solely on this one horrible decision, why must we berate them as well? Yes, these boys could have hurt a lot of people. Instead, fate had it that they only hurt themselves and left others in a lifetime of pain. So why must we then add insult to injury? We tell these kids they're young and immature, that they don't learn and refuse to face the truth, but really, who are we to speak? We show no compassion, no maturity, and provide little for them to look up to. The damage that we cause by the insensitivity of our words will stick with these people forever. It will jade any message or learning experience that could have come from this horrible incident. So, as you go about your daily life, posting insensitive comments behind a screen name and then "signing off" from this tragedy, please try to remember that there are many out there who cannot "sign off" from it. At least try to have some decency, put yourself in their shoes, and think before you comment. In a situation like this, if you don't have something nice to say, perhaps out of respect of the grieving, you should not say anything at all.

jesspick 11 years, 9 months ago

Well once again I would like to respond. I am the sister-in-law of Ben Pickert. Individuals say I am for drinking and driving as long as they are having fun. That is not true...ben may have been drinking and the papers say it was a factor. However, they don't tell you anything. Did you know that Jacob was under the legal limit, which is only a beer and a half. Did you know that smart paper readers. Do you actually have the autopsy reports and the actual police records. NO!! Did you know that 5 minutes before the accident ben was seen with a great deal of money in his wallet. Well that money never made it to us when we got the wallet back. I'm sure while he was laying in the car, some %$#@% was nice enough to take the money. How about Ben's watch that he NEVER left home without. HE was known for his watches. Where are these reports? You all speak before you know the true facts. Ben may have been drunk and hanging out the window...he had his seat belt on. However, do not say anything about Jacob driving drunk. He was not impaired when he wrecked. Stop looking for people to blame and stop going towards everything the papers say.

How about the fact that when the car was seen "racing" that this was five minutes before the accident. The car had time enough to drive by Ben's apartment and then to be making a left onto the main road. How about that!!! He was turning when they lost control. How about the fact that many people knew that Jacob was saving up to buy tires, because he knew they were becoming bald. Did you know that before you post your comments. Do the writers ask us what we know??

As a family we have to look on here. It is the only place we can find information until the reports are released. This accident was not just one error. It was a bunch of different factors that stink. So, why don't you feel sympathy for us....don't insult us for something you don't know ^%$^%$ about.

GmasFarm 11 years, 9 months ago

Enough is Enough! Give it up! Please STOP posting all the negative, critical, hateful comments. Nothing we say or do will bring back Jack & Ben. As the grandmother of young men who could have been in their car, I ask you to please show some respect, compassion and kindness for their families and friends. They will continue to mourn their losses for all time, so if you must do something, make it constructive. PRAY. Let go and let God.

dthroat 11 years, 9 months ago

OK, thought this would fade away, but it didn't, so I guess I will chime in again.

Can people please realize this is an open forum, not a monument or dedication ceremony to Jake and Ben. I am sure we all get they were great guys (don't doubt it for a minute even though I didn't personally know them), and I AM very sorry they died in this manner.

People are going to write bad things here that friends and family don't like. That is what happens here. Don't try to control it after several days of nothing but how good these guys were and not allowing (even threatening) anybody who posted even a disparaging question about their actions.

If you don't want to hear (some) truth, then don't come here. AND I take real offense to trying to shift the focus to LE, or LDCFM of stealing money from dead people. Not saying it doesn't happen somewhere, but give me a break. These guys and girls were doing what they could to SAVE these guys and now someone wants to mis-direct and deflect into stealing from dead people.

Ever think they may have spent the alleged money at the Ranch??????

I have to stop before I really go off and get removed.

tongie 11 years, 9 months ago

Is the LJW ever going to publish anything else on this accident? Because I have also heard from many people that Jake was under the legal limit, but there are people on here who still want to say he was drunk and being stupid. I wish the LJW would publish the toxicology report to shut some of these people up. As a friend of Ben's he didn't ever go anywhere without his watch, that is a fact, I don't believe I have ever seen him without a nice watch on.

DTHROAT: Also if Ben was seen five minutes before the crash with a great deal of money then I don't think that he had time to go to the Ranch and spend that much money, also the Ranch is not even by 21st street. So read the posts correctly before you respond to them.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 9 months ago

Is it possible, just possible, that the force of the crash threw things out of the car, and even off of the victims? (This HAS happened in serious car crashes.) If so, they could have landed by the road, where they lay unnoticed by people responding to the accident. They may have laid there unnoticed for awhile, and they could have been picked up by anyone walking around the area.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 8 months ago

I don't know how long it took to extracate them from the car. In that length of time, and with the emergency people and police busy with that, if a wallet was lying on the ground, anyone could have picked it up and emptied it. They probably weren't paying attention to anything at that time but the boys.

Unscrupulous? You bet. But there are people like that out there. There are also ambulance chasers, people who will follow the ambulance and just watch the aftermath of an accident. Could have been one of them.

I have seen an awful lot of people do an awful lot of nasty things, and stealing from two dead boys is pretty awful. But don't assume that it was the police who did it. Anyone in the vicinity could have done it, maybe before the police even got there.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 8 months ago

I don't know how long it took to extracate them from the car. In that length of time, and with the emergency people and police busy with that, if a wallet was lying on the ground, anyone could have picked it up and emptied it. They probably weren't paying attention to anything at that time but the boys.

Unscrupulous? You bet. But there are people like that out there. There are also ambulance chasers, people who will follow the ambulance and just watch the aftermath of an accident. Could have been one of them.

I have seen an awful lot of people do an awful lot of nasty things, and stealing from two dead boys is pretty nasty. But don't assume that it was the police who did it. Anyone in the vicinity could have done it, maybe before the police even got there.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 8 months ago

HIPPA laws would prevent the police or anyone else from revealing that information about the truck driver, since he's still alive. Doesn't mean that he wasn't tested, but the police can't give out that info. The only one who could would be the truck driver himself, and I suspect if he did that and it said he hadn't been drinking, all the fine, upstanding folks in here would call him a liar and say he was just trying to cover his own a$$.

As for the police ripping off crash victims, yes, I know it happens. But to accuse the police officers or EMTs who responded to the crash of such a thing with no proof is no different than people saying things about Jake and Ben, is it?

Remember that all those police officers and EMTs also have loved ones...they are somebody's brother/sister, wife/husband, they have friends and family who love them and believe in them the same as anybody else.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

Time to let it go everyone they are gone and nothing else can be done.

reginafliangie 11 years, 8 months ago

I have a correction for Miguel. There was a witness to the speeding and reckless driving. A poster said on another thread that the boys where drag racing a truck and both cars were stopped at the stop light at 15th/Iowa surrounding her car when they took off. She also mentioned the boy who was in the passenger side that hung out the window and was hooting and hollering at her and trying to take her picture with his cell phone. There is your witness. She also stated that when she happened upon the accident a few seconds later that she stopped and called police. She even stated she gave the officers a written statement to the events. So in referrence to your "fact", that one was incorrect, because in fact there was a witness.

Just another little note, my husband takes cars apart that where involved in accidents. The force from the accident and all of the things that the fire department needed to do to get these poor boys out the car could of knocked the belongings off the boys and into the car itself. He has found numerous items in every single car he has taken apart. I wouldn't be suprised if the family of the boys could have access and be able to go through the car, if they would find half of these boys belonging among the wreckage.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

still sad and time to move on time to let the boys rip.

tongie 11 years, 8 months ago

I don't think that cash would fall out of a wallet though, thats kind of odd don't you think? Also I think it would be hard to be hanging out of a car window with your seatbelt on(not saying impossible saying very unlikely), which the police report did say both boys were wearing seatbelts. And people can say anything because I have talked to people that said they weren't drag racing against a truck, so who really knows if they were or not.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 8 months ago

But it was stated by Miguel, as a FACT that there were no witnesses to speeding and drag racing. This disputes the poster who said they saw the car just before the accident. But if there really was no one there to see what happened just before the crash, then there was also no one there to see what DIDN'T happen before the crash, if you know what I mean.

GmasFarm 11 years, 8 months ago

Thank you, Borrowed Wings & Miguel. Jake and Ben are with the angels. The rest of us should respect that and just let them go. They would want their families and friends to live on and learn from this tragedy. Why must the rest of you keep on hammering, blaming, speculating and berating, showing how insensitive you can be? Regardless of the circumstances, nothing can change the fact that in an instant, they were gone. Have some feelings for the families and friends and show them consideration. Think, also, of the truckdriver who was unable to do anything but watch the accident unfold in front of his eyes. Pray for him. Pray. Let it go. Amen

Commenting has been disabled for this item.