Iowa St. accident kills 1
One man was killed and another man suffered a critical head injury in a pregame, one-vehicle traffic accident involving a bus carrying Kansas State fans Saturday, Lawrence police said.
It happened in the 1700 block of Iowa Street, near a bridge that connects residence halls on Daisy Hill with Kansas University’s West Campus, police said.
The purple bus stopped just north of 15th and Iowa streets and didn’t appear to be damaged.
Police said they couldn’t release the cause of the accident, which happened just after 11:30 a.m., and they did not release the victims’ identities other than to say they were not Lawrence residents.
“We have some ideas. But before we put that out … we certainly want to make sure that we have all of our facts straight,” police spokesman Sgt. Paul Fellers said. “We also want to make sure we get all of the family notified.”
The privately owned bus, called “The Cat Tracker,” follows the K-State football team to road games, said K-State student David Ronsick as he walked by. K-State played KU at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
“It’s like a party bus,” said K-State fan Bryant Peterson.
“Fans travel on it,” Ronsick said. “They ride on top.”
An outdoor porch is attached to the back of the bus, with a ladder leading to a metal platform on top.
Emergency workers “were working on the top deck of the bus,” said Peterson, who was in the area shortly after the accident. “It looked like they were loading someone onto a stretcher and they pulled (a victim) down and loaded (a victim) into an ambulance.”
One man was seriously injured and taken to University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., by air ambulance, police said. The other victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
On Saturday night, the family of the injured man released a statement through hospital spokesman Dennis McCulloch that said the injured man was being treated for a critical head injury.
“The family understands the public’s interest in his condition, but requests prayers and privacy,” McCulloch said and added the family did not want to release the man’s identity or hometown Saturday night.
At 9 p.m., the Salina Journal posted a story on its Web site that identified the injured man as Chris Orr of Salina, a former sports writer for the newspaper.
At the scene, a fire truck adorned with a K-State wildcat logo on its side was parked directly behind the bus.
Men dressed in firefighter uniforms sat on the side of the truck with their heads in their hands.
“It was traveling behind it,” Fellers said. “It was not actually involved.”
About a dozen adults, dressed in K-State clothing, comforted one another and filled out paperwork on the side of the road while police investigated the accident.
A man who drove off with the bus afterward said he wasn’t on the bus when the accident happened but felt “horrible.”