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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Driver on phone hits 8-year-old

June 6, 2006

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Brianna Railing called her son, Jayson, in from the kitchen of their home Monday. The 8-year-old paced into the living room, a soft cast wrapped around his arm.

It had been a few hours since he was at Lawrence Memorial Hospital after lying in the middle of Massachusetts Street, dripping blood onto the pavement.

"He's doing OK," Railing said of Jayson. "But you're always concerned when somebody hits your kid" with a car, she said.

She was even more concerned after learning from police that the driver, 16-year-old Lydia Caron, was using her cell phone when the accident occurred late Sunday night.

"You have to pay more attention at that intersection, especially when you're on a cell phone," Railing said. "You see a lot of people who run that light."According to the police report, Caron told officers she was talking on her phone when, the next thing she knew, a child was in front of her car.

By then, she couldn't stop.

Police cited Caron for a red light violation, failure to yield the right of way and inattentive driving - likely because she was on the phone.

In a phone interview Monday, Caron said she couldn't say much for insurance reasons, but that she regrets the accident ever happened.

"I don't have anything in my head, except that it shouldn't have happened," Caron said. "I hope that people take it as an example not to be preoccupied."

Emotionally, Caron said she was doing OK, though police and witnesses of the accident said Sunday she was visibly shaken by the incident.

The accident occurred fewer than 24 hours before the Lawrence Traffic Safety Commission took up another round of talks contemplating adoption of what would be the most stringent motorist cell phone ban in the country.

According to police, Caron was on her phone when she ran through the red light at the South Park crosswalk just south of downtown and struck the boy.

Railing said her son, his aunt and another family memberwere walking through South Park about 9 p.m. Sunday when Jayson hit the button to change the crosswalk light from green to red.

Cross-walk at South Park and Mass. Street

Jayson, on roller skates at the time, rolled out into the street when his family saw Caron's red Honda Civic approaching.

Jayson was treated and released from Lawrence Memorial Hospital, suffering bumps and bruises and, possibly, a fractured arm.

Railing said her son would be all right, but that she hoped, in the future, people would watch out for kids crossing at the South Park crosswalk.

And although she felt terrible for Caron - she's so young, she said, she didn't want her to become an example of why not to use a cell phone while driving - Railing said that a ban may be the right thing to do.

"Anything that is a distraction and puts the community at risk should be addressed," she said.

Comments

Nikki May 8 years, 6 months ago

Ok, so this contradicts what the witnesses that posted on this very site said yesterday. If it went down like this, then yes she was inattentive and if she ran the red light, of course she should be fined. Also, if it was 9 when he hit light, why was it after 10 when he was hit by a car?

Also, another reminder to wear a helmet. I bet he wasn't.

neopolss 8 years, 6 months ago

This story smells...

of political fodder.

bankboy119 8 years, 6 months ago

"Anything that is a distraction and puts the community at risk should be addressed"

No passengers, eating, makeup, reading, talking, music, etc.

GuardChica 8 years, 6 months ago

You try to ban all of that and I will fall asleep on every drive I make over about 20 minutes.

nekansan 8 years, 6 months ago

We have a law against that, it's called inattentive driving and this driver was cited. Why do we need a change?

bjohanning 8 years, 6 months ago

And the Ban on Cell Phone Use while driving is voted down.

samsnewplace 8 years, 6 months ago

I just love the JW's sensationalism "dripping blood onto the pavement." I was sure he would be in ICU, but later, "Jayson was treated and released from Lawrence Memorial Hospital, suffering bumps and bruises and, possibly, a fractured arm." Accidents happen folks, shouldn't have ever happened but it did. You have to pay attention all the time, you have to pay double attention when you are on the cellphones. Use your common sense out there and these types of accidents will for the most part be avoided.

Rossp 8 years, 6 months ago

They should ban cell phone from students.

Mike Blur 8 years, 6 months ago

"I don't have anything in my head"--Lydia Caron

Taken somewhat out of context, sure, but a most astute self-analysis my Ms. Caron.

Looking at her myspace web page, I'd say she should listen to something else better than her favorites: N'Sync and 50 Cent. Listening to those two might make me want to run myself over with a car!

conservative 8 years, 6 months ago

Well at least today we have enough facts to talk about this.

With the facts (never consider the postings of random individuals facts), we can see that the driver did in fact run a light and was ticketed for inattentive driving.

Personally I don't support a ban on cell phones and hope that the full commission follows the lead of the traffic commision and votes down the proposed ban. However I would like to see them greatly increase the fines for inattentive driving, and start giving tickets for it even if there isn't an accident.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 6 months ago

What I want to know is this: Did her parents revoke her driving priviledges, or is she back on the road today? I would LOOOOOOVE for one of her parents to give us a posting on that subject.

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 6 months ago

I would say slanted ,facts but both are alive and are going to be o.k. and this is a blessing. Driver got a ticket the boy got lucky so to all i say see easy fix no ban required.

compmd 8 years, 6 months ago

Lowering the driving age below 18 was a mistake, but we're dealing with it. I don't know about Kansas, but I do know that in many states, any driver under 18 is prohibited from using a cell phone when driving and is limited in the number of passengers that are not related to them.

I'm sure this girl's insurance company is going to love her; she's had her license how long and she took out a kid? Is this her first accident? I feel sorry for her, her family, the kid she hit, and his family.

happyone 8 years, 6 months ago

So where is everyone at today that was yelling "where were the parents" -- guess the parents being there shut them up!!

My question is at 16 her license has just become an actual license and not a restricted one....perhaps her parents or the LPD need to restrict her privledges til she is 18. I think she also needs to go through more driving school classes, one that she would have to see dead bodies in the morgue that where killed by driving idiots just like her!!

Linda Endicott 8 years, 6 months ago

Anyone who walks into a crosswalk, even when they have the green light, and thinks that every car is automatically going to stop for them, is bound to get disappointed at some point.

I know this is a child, but he should be taught to always watch traffic. It's unpredictable, and everyone doesn't follow traffic laws all the time. Even when the light is green, I still look both ways, to make sure everyone is stopped, and especially for those right-turners who just can't seem to wait for you to get out of their way.

I have seen so many children, over so many years, who just start across the street, or the parking lot, and never even look for traffic first. It's been happening for so long that now we have a whole generation of young adults who think that the whole world is just going to move out of the way wherever they want to go.

Mix that in with a bunch of teenagers who think they're invincible and can't wait to get behind the wheel of a car, and it's a recipe for disaster.

staff04 8 years, 6 months ago

You can be cited for applying makeup, wearing headphones, or reading while driving.

Why not for something else that we know for a fact is an uneccessary distraction while driving?

bankboy119 8 years, 6 months ago

Dad, couldn't agree with you more. I sure hope her phone and car were taken away.

AKgirlinKS 8 years, 6 months ago

Smitty - It is possible to leave the ER with a "possible fracture" if no Radiologist was there to CONFIRM a fracture. If it's not a critical injuy, an ER doc looks at the xray and makes a preliminary diagnosis. If it's a critical injury and the ER doc needs a report right away, they can page a Radiologist to read the film. A radiologist will read the film and confirm a diagnosis and dicatate a report. If need be, the patient can be called back if more treatment is needed.

If you've never seen an xray film, a hairline fracture can be hard to see depending on the location. An obvious break in the bone is much easier to see.

No worries, the ER isn't totally incompetent!

dionne 8 years, 6 months ago

AKgirlinKS, I agree. In fact, my daughter has broken her arm in two places - TWICE - and the ER at LMH has released her with a "soft cast". She was then treated by the orthopedic doctors who put the real casts on and did all of her follow up appointments. I would hope that Jayson will be following up with his family doc, or an orthopedic doc within the next day or two to be sure his arm is okay. As far as the ban goes, my job uses cell phones on a daily basis, and we hope that our drivers are professional enough to not just gab on them, but to use them only when necessary, or when they can pull over for a "briefing". I would prefer to see the LPD issuing more tickets for inattentive driving, whether a cell phone is being used or not, and let me keep my phone and my job!!!

lawrencechick 8 years, 6 months ago

Yes, people are always put in a soft cast first, to allow for the swelling that will occur over the next few days.

GuardChica 8 years, 6 months ago

compmd,

maybe in town it seems like a mistake to lower the driving age below 18, but for many rural kids, its crucial for their being able to get to school/sports/church/etc.

staci706 8 years, 6 months ago

This is BS because that's not how it happened, I'm sure the parents are going to agree though because they don't want to look stupid for not teaching their kids to look before crossing a street. It makes me mad because the police and news stations are bending it to look like the girl was at fault for the cell phone. The light wasn't red. My boyfriend and I gave police reports saying the same thing so this is just stupid.

Confrontation 8 years, 6 months ago

I doubt the parents of this girl will punish her in any way. Parents today are too weak. They will most likely just cuddle her and get her a new SUV, guaranteed to kill any witnesses the next time she does it.

stbaker 8 years, 6 months ago

It is also possible to not be able to confirm a fracture until it's had a week or two to heal, at which time they would be able to see some of the new bone growth.

innocent_bystander 8 years, 6 months ago

Compare and contrast. . . it is a little weird that this girl gets a ticket and can keep her license for HITTING A KID WITH HER CAR and sending him to the hospital. . .while the asst. principal is in jeopardy of going to jail, getting her license suspended, losing her job, having her name dragged thru the mud, etc., and she was pulling over for weaving while driving and having an alcohol level that five years ago would have been acceptable. Hmmm. . .

tearanydawn 8 years, 6 months ago

The fact that this girl was 16 should say it all. She is young and for loss of better words stupid. If anyone can't remember what it was like when they turned 16 and started getting to drive without parents then well you need to try really hard and think back to how irresponsible you were. I didn't even have a cell phone back then but I still managed to get into a car wreck that was my fault just because I was young and well I will say it again STUPID. This type of thing happens and the reason it's such a big deal right now is because the city of lawrence is trying to get a law passed and this "HUGE" story just happens to play into it.

Michael Birch 8 years, 6 months ago

Why can't parents just simply watch their children so that things like this don't happen!

jayhawks71 8 years, 6 months ago

Ok, so no laws against what you cannot do in a car.

Eliminate licenses for 1) people who are under X years of age, what age? 16, 19, 21, 30? What are you going to use as a criterion, I hope you don't want research of statistics, just "go with your gut" right? Going to sporting events or church are not the concern of the state. Get a ride, 8 year olds participate in sports and go to church (and go to school) they do not get licensed to drive.

2) People who cannot stay awake without doing X while driving (guardchica), whether talking on the phone or listening to the radio.

3) People who have LONGER response times when on a cell phone (or when using any other identified distraction) than when not.

4) Men, who are more likely to break the law than women.

5) People who wear glasses or use hearing aids.

An ordinance against inattentive driving is vague. The state cannot prove (beyond a reasonable doubt, as this is a criminal offense) that 1) you were inattentive at the time of an accident and 2) that inattention was the primary cause of an accident because see 1.

I would welcome a CLEAR ordinance. You don't need to be in an accident to be cited for inattentive driving. What is the problem with identifying the factors that will be used to determine inattention. Hold the government responsible for providing evidence for their case.

jayhawks71 8 years, 6 months ago

Esq2b- if they banned cell phones from 'stupid people' cell phone companies would go out of business, if the posts from these forums are remotely representative of people.

jayhawks71 8 years, 6 months ago

conservative has his/her facts, but of course spacystaci is going to insist that she saw the accident the right way, just like the guy who "knows his limitation' in the other story about the cell phone ordinance. Drunk drivers know their limitations too.

jayhawks71 8 years, 6 months ago

downhomedude wants to shelter children to the point where nothing can ever happens to them. each home should be equipped with a closet and feeding tube in which children are placed from the moment they become ambulatory until they reach the age of legal majority.

innocent_bystander 8 years, 6 months ago

I'm just saying she didn't just run a red light - she hit a child with her car. Seems like she should get more than just a ticket for inattentive driving.

GuardChica 8 years, 6 months ago

J71,

You try driving five hours, by yourself, in complete silence, partially at night, just to see your house which you haven't seen in four months because of classes. Sorry if my needing the radio on to keep me from getting too bored staring at I-29 FOR FIVE STRAIGHT HOURS is too much for you. It doesn't take my hands off the wheel, and in this age of multitasking, I really doubt that it really messes with my concentration too much, especially since I learned to drive in driver's ed WITH IT ON! Kids learn how to drive these days with some sort of background noise ... to us, complete silence is a cue to sleep, because that's the only time it exists (and not even then for everybody).

jayhawks71 8 years, 6 months ago

Pilgrim, fair enough. However, you have the right to have your case heard in a court of law if you believe that you have been incorrectly charged.

Inattentive driving is still a "vague" term, and thus difficult to enforce; much more difficult than an enumerated list of offenses.

GuardChica- although I don't truly espouse denying people drivers licenses based on those criteria (I would not be able to get one based on numbers 4 or 5), some have suggested that we make getting a license more difficult in lieu of implementing additional driving ordinance. The intent was sarcasm.

Doesn't everyone learn to drive with "some background noise"? And the radio is just that. The research shows that having the radio on is not attention demanding (actually changing the radio station probably uses very little attention, when in your own car). The issue is that some in these forums have equated listening to the radio and talking to a passenger with the attention demands of talking on a cell phone. The research shows that this is not the case, yet some demand that they know better.

A more powerful cue to sleep is the amount of histamine released into your brain and the amount of light detected by your suprachiasmatic nucleus. I would hate to see your grades if the silence of testing situations cues you to sleep.

By the way, if you want to use the "kids these days" argument as a defense, you should be prepared to have it used against you as well. :-) You can't have it both ways.

jayhawks71 8 years, 6 months ago

GuardChica, one more thought. Perhaps your "world of multi-tasking" has led you develop in such a way that you are less able to focus attention on a specific task (such as driving), for that reason then, you should be denied a drivers license under the new regime because you are permanently an inattentive driver. :-)

GuardChica 8 years, 6 months ago

My gpa is more than decent, especially considering I worked more than 24 hours a week each of the last four semesters (and therefore rarely slept).

Tests these days are rarely quiet anyways. No one can sit still!

jayhawks71 8 years, 6 months ago

Swbsow- you are correct. (except that it isn't their capability of multi-tasking, it is their multi-tasking efficiency, a slight difference).

Men are better at visuo-spatial tasks than women; therefore we ban women from driving period. Logical? No, of course not.

Of course, your familiarity with the literature (you should post references to the "many studies" you are familiar with) would also suggest that you have a research background and realize that the distributions overlap quite a bit, right? (Such that there are many, many men who multitask better than many, many women.)

A study by Speck et al, (2000) found that during a working memory task, women were more accurate in performing the task, but men's responses were quicker. Which of these would be beneficial in a driving situation? Recognizing that the object moving into your lane, in your periphery is a silver honda or adjusting your path to avoid the "thing" that is moving into your lane?

jayhawks71 8 years, 6 months ago

GuardChica,

I am glad to hear that your GPA is "more than decent."

Driving your car, even late at night, down the highway is also rarely quiet. If it is, open your window a crack, you'll get plenty of noise from the disturbance in airflow. If it is cool out, you will also get that added sensory input. If it is warm out, kick on the AC, I bet you have a tougher time falling asleep when you are VERY cold. :-)

jayhawks71 8 years, 6 months ago

And I enjoy the sarcasm. Men are in more accidents than women, isn't that enough to deny us a license? Imagine if there were fewer drivers on the road. The probability of accident would decrease. Go figure!

Jason Kent 8 years, 6 months ago

why isn't anyone concerned or commenting about an 8 year old crossing the street alone! on rollar skates! at 9pm or later?

jayhawks71 8 years, 6 months ago

Pywacket, let's start the discussion on what IS and IS NOT running a red light. If you enter the intersection on yellow, have you run a red light if you are still in the intersection when it turns red?

cowasockee-because you missed the past two days of conversation on the topic. That has been discussed. What I enjoy is seeing people who come in and say things like they can't believe no one has done something, yet, they clearly didn't do much to investigate the veracity of their claim. Sounds like most of the arguments people have made in favor of hands free devices.

And 1) the boy was with an aunt and another person, not alone and 2) since when are kids not allowed to be on roller skates? I believe they were outside of downtown, where they are prohibited (why aren't people complaining about those ordinances?) and 3) 9pm, summer, when there is still even a hint of light out? I was out at 9 10 this evening and looked up and it still wasn't dark. Why can't a kid be out at 9pm? Talk about fascism, are you going to institute a curfew that coincides with age; no 8 year olds out after 8pm; two year olds, 2pm.

picky 8 years, 6 months ago

I would like to know how does a parent let an child go out after 9:30 pm to play on his skateboard and get hit by an car? Why are parents letting their children out so late at a young age and how come the parents were not with the boy? He wouldnt had gotten hit by the car, if he wasnt paying any attention of the traffic. So, I think it just wasnt the drivers fault, the parents should get into trouble too for letting their child out so late and the parents not being with him so late at night. An accident waiting to happen to an 8 year old without parents.

gphawk89 8 years, 6 months ago

News today from St. Charles:

ST. CHARLES COUNTY: Police: Driver reached for phone, struck boy 06/08/2006 A motorist who struck and seriously injured a 3-year-old boy Tuesday night had been reaching for her cell phone when she veered off the road, police said Wednesday. The 30-year-old woman, whose name was being withheld while police completed an investigation, was ticketed at the scene for careless and imprudent driving, but she could face other charges, St. Charles County Sheriff Tom Neer said.

Jason Kent 8 years, 5 months ago

jayhawks71 WTF are you talking about, I read, and re-read every comment on here, maybe you should too smart guy. I see a lot of blame going on the girl and a CELL PHONE. Don't see much of anything about a little kid out late.

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