Archive for Monday, November 20, 2006

K-State bus riders hit overpass

Police say Shawnee man died in pregame collision on Iowa St.

November 20, 2006


One dead in pre-game traffic accident

Lawrence Police Captain Steve Zarnowiec and a KSU student/fan talk about the "Cat Tracker," the vehicle involved in the fatality accident. Enlarge video

Two men were standing on the top porch of the double-decker party bus when it went below an overpass on the way to the Kansas-Kansas State football game Saturday, police said Monday.

One man died and another was critically injured when their heads struck the bottom of the overpass in the 1700 block of Iowa Street. They had been riding atop the Cat Tracker K-State fan bus, which was carrying 22 people, ages 7 to 66, from various Kansas towns, according to a police report released Monday.

Police identified the deceased man as John P. Green, 27, of Shawnee. The other person injured, 34-year-old Christian D. Orr of Salina, remained in critical condition Monday at University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., where he underwent surgery to relieve swelling on his brain.

"This is unusual as much as it is tragic," Lawrence Police spokeswoman Kim Murphree said Monday.

Orr and Green were two of the eight people riding on an open deck atop the northbound bus when they hit the underside of the overpass at Irving Hill Road. Joe Blubaugh, a Kansas Department of Transportation spokesman, said the 15-foot-high overpass met standards for height clearance and signage.

The Cat Tracker, privately owned by Manhattan attorney Robert Pottroff, is well-known among K-State fans.

"When it arrives, it becomes a congregation spot, especially for road games," said Brian Gates, 34, of Beloit, one of the people who was riding on top of the bus when the wreck happened.

Gates said the bus had made a few stops before arriving in Lawrence to pick up riders. When the bus made it to Lawrence, a group of people climbed a ladder onto the roof, where there is no permanent seating. Gates said he couldn't go into details about the moments leading up to the wreck.

"I don't even want to think about it," he said.

He said he had just met Green that morning and was introduced to Orr.

Riding atop bus prohibited

Lawrence Police said Monday that it's illegal for someone to stand on top of a bus while it is in motion. State law and local traffic ordinances make it illegal "to ride on any vehicle or upon any portion thereof not designed or intended for use of passengers when the vehicle is in motion," or for a driver to allow anyone to ride there.

The law makes exceptions for some employees and for sanctioned parades or special events. City prosecutor Jerry Little said he didn't know of a reason that a bus such as the Cat Tracker would fall under an exception.

"I'm not aware of anything that would allow it," Little said. "We've issued citations for people riding in the back of a pickup, but I don't recall any situation where someone has been riding on the top of a bus that has seating there."

Lawrence Police did not write any tickets at the scene, but they are preparing a report to send to the district attorney's office for review of whether any charges should be filed.

Driver identified

The bus was driven by Brent Simonsson, 41, of Wamego, who was tested for impairment afterward. Toxicology results are pending, according to a report.

"I know that the first concern of everyone involved is for the well-being of Mr. Green's family and for the well-being of Mr. Orr and his family," said attorney Pedro Irigonegaray of Topeka, who represents Simonsson. "We are still in the fact-gathering process, and as you can imagine, there are a lot of considerations in this case that need to be looked through carefully."

Irigonegaray said he couldn't talk about details of how the incident happened. He said Simonsson "is experiencing the type of personal difficulties that anyone who is involved in a situation like this would experience. This is a huge loss."

As of Monday evening, more than 300 people had joined a group titled "In Memory of the Cat Tracker" on the social networking Web site A message on the site indicated that Green had a wife who is eight months pregnant and that a fund was set up to raise money for her. Organizers of the page did not return e-mailed messages seeking comment Monday evening.

'A very serious injury'

Hays resident Casey Edmonds, 28, was riding on the rear deck of the bus when the accident happened. He said the atmosphere on the bus was subdued and sober.

"My experiences with it are far from what I'd consider rowdy," Edmonds said. "It's not a big drunk fest at all."

Edmonds did not know the two victims, but he said he rode the bus often to K-State football games. On Saturday, he caught the bus in Lawrence and rode with several members of his extended family.

He wouldn't discuss what he saw when the accident happened, but he said that the children on the bus, including several of his relatives, were ushered away from the scene almost immediately.

"They don't know too much about what happened," he said.

Orr's family released a statement Monday saying he would remain at the hospital for an undetermined amount of time.

"This is a very serious injury, but we know the doctors here are doing all that they can to help Chris recover," the family said in a statement. "We remain hopeful that Chris will be able to overcome these injuries and go home with his family soon."

- Laura McHugh and Ron Knox contributed information to this report.


Nullifidian 9 years ago


Pedro Irigonegaray has been the defense attorney in several notable cases, including the murder trial of K-State professor Thomas Murray. He was also the one respresenting the interests of actual scientists in the state BoE's creationist kangaroo court, where he did a very good job. So it's good to see that the driver is being competently represented.

oldgoof 9 years ago

not-dolph:" Pedro Irigonegaray is representing the driver...he typically is on the other side of a deal like this"

goof: Not-dolph is just saying Pedro is typically representing plaintiffs as a lawyer. But that is in civil litigation. He also represents lots of defendents in prominent criminal cases.

Likewise for the owner of the bus who has successfully obtained multi-million dollar plantiffs cases in civil litigation, but also regularly represents KSU student athletes when they are charged with alcohol, sexual assault, or other similar indiscretions.

Tragic all the way around. My condolences.

Linda Aikins 9 years ago

I want to send my condolences to EVERYONE involved. I'm so so sorry.

TheOriginalCA 9 years ago

To any KSU Fans reading these comments. Please disregard them. These juvenile comments are not worth getting upset over. They do it all the time on here and take great delight in taking advantage of unfortunate circumstances to hurt/offend others.

not_dolph 9 years ago

It is interesting that Pedro Irigonegaray is representing the driver...he typically is on the other side of a deal like this.

not_dolph 9 years ago

Forget it Marion. I don't need your holier-than-thou attitude tonight.

bearded_gnome 9 years ago

He is also one of "Tiller the Killer's" lawyers.

Brandon Perkins 9 years ago

I have dealt with Pedro Irigonegaray once. He was representing a former co-worker who was terminated from her job. She claimed discrimination (over 40, female, minority). somehow I was brought into it cuz I was her hourly supervisor but had nothing to do with it. Anyway, during the deposition he asked me, name, where I worked, etc. Then the very first question he asked after the basics was "Have you ever had sex at work?" I was like WTF???? My company lawyer was trying not to bust up laughing....

Ceallach 9 years ago

Posted by oldgoof (anonymous) on November 21, 2006 at 6:14 a.m. (Suggest removal) "represents KSU student athletes when they are charged with alcohol, sexual assault, or other similar indiscretions"

Come on, oldgoof, sexual assault is not an INDISCRETION!! Shame on you.

mom_of_three 9 years ago

Yes, this was a tragic accident, but one which probably could have been avoided.
very sad.

compmd 9 years ago

I'm really starting to get the feeling that Pedro is the only lawyer in Topeka.

PYT1984 9 years ago

I am just giving my opinion, so please try to go easy with the attacks. I'm sorry, but these were two grown men. They made a choice to get on top of that bus, nobody put a gun to their heads and forced them to climb up. I feel horrible for their families and it is something they will have to cope with for the rest of their lives. It's a sad thing for everyone involved, but, I don't think anyone deserves any money out of this. They risked something like this happening when they chose to have a great time on top of a moving bus. If the driver knew they were up there, then I agree that he should be ticketed or get the punishment deserved for this type of violation. People need to start taking responsibility for their own actions and stop trying to blame everyone else. They were not children standing up there, they were adults. Hopefully this will be a learning lesson for others. I doubt it, but maybe someone will learn from it and leave it at that.

ksu_fan 9 years ago

I grew up around the Lawrence area, but I attened college at KSU. I wnet to college with the man that was killed in the accident. I can't believe that you people have nothing better to do than talk about the laywer that will be on the case. Does all of that really matter in a moment like this? There is a family out there who have lost someone that they love. His child will never know him. His wife will have to raise a baby by herself, and all you guys can talk about is a lawyer. I am glad that none of his family live close to Lawrence so they will not have to read any of this. John may have been a K-State fan, but he is still a person and someone that is from Kansas. Show some respect for the families.

Leprechaunking13 9 years ago

Good point PYT, there were also 6 other people up on top that avoided that bridge. Did no one yell heads up, duck, look out? Did these guys not see other people duck their heads, squat down, lay down? Were these guys taller than everyone else? Tragic all around, I hope the man still alive makes it through! No one should be pulling "Teen Wolf" moves on anything taller than a van, for all you Michael J. Foxes out there.

PYT1984 9 years ago

Don't call me an idiot. You are the idiot. Take responsibility for actions you choose. They chose to have a great time on top of a moving bus, standing no less, and that is where their great fun ended. Do I feel sorry for his wife and unborn child? Absolutely! Because of a choice he made to have fun, she will have to raise the child by herself. Think of the people who were behind the bus and had to see something like that. They hurt themselves and a lot of other innocent people. Learning lesson? I sure as hell hope so.

ksu_fan 9 years ago

The Cat Tracker is something that you will see at every home game and almost every away game as well. It is something that all of us alumni and students know and love. There probably isn't a person that has been to a KSU game that has not been on the bus or been around the bus. Just because they were up on top of it doesn't mean anything. Yes, it may not have been where they should have been, but they were showing school spirit. Something that all KSU fans pride themselves on. I guarantee there is not a fan out there that would not get back on top of that bus. Not only because it is something that we all recongize, but to show support for John's family. It is something that he would not want to go away just because of this accident. So you can go on about your lessons, and taking responsibility and put them toward something that will make a difference.

farmgal 9 years ago

PYT1984, I see no harm in giving your opinion. Some people just need everything sugar coated. I do wonder if there was a sign on the upper level of the bus stating, "DO NOT STAND WHILE BUS IS IN MOTION". Americans seem to need lots of signs to warn them of dangers.

Adrienne Sanders 9 years ago

PYT, I'm with you- I feel bad for the families, but they shouldn't have been up there and I'm sure they knew that to begin with.

PYT1984 9 years ago

Well, you are right then. Anything for school spirit! Risking not only your life but the lives of other people, not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. But, it's worth it. My god, it's all for showing school spirit. They weren't supposed to be up there in the first place. If you are going to continue to be on top of the moving bus for school spirit and for his memory, even though it is against the law, try not to stand, like the other six people up there. Yahoo for school spirit!

Kristen Murphy 9 years ago

The rule on the bus is they can sit up there while in motion but not stand. Obviously something happened that made him stand up, but let's be a little bit more respectful to his families.

ksu_fan - you're last post was perfect. I can almost promise you that this bus will be at the bowl game and the rest of the games in the future. This was the first accident on this bus in 20 years. So yeah. This bus is a staple to tailgating at K-State. It will drive again. I promise you that.

PYT1984 9 years ago

Point is not that you are K-state fans. It very well could have been KU, Nebraska or Missouri fans.
You K-state people are totally missing it. I didn't say anything about getting rid of the bus nor am I trying to disrespect the families. Just obey the laws. Obviously, when the laws are not obeyed this is what can happen. It only takes one bad (unavoidable I might add) thing to happen to ruin something meant to be fun.

lynnd 9 years ago

Posted by KStater (anonymous) on November 21, 2006 at 9:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The rule on the bus is they can sit up there while in motion but not stand. ===================================

I'm guessing- and hoping- that this "rule" will change, especially since it's also against the law for people to be on top of the bus while it's in motion.

jafs 9 years ago

According to the article, it's illegal to be on top of the bus, whether sitting or standing. It's also obviously dangerous. I think this was tragic, but also preventable. The amount of passion/emotion about sports is something I don't understand, and seems to lead to preventable tragedies. Perhaps people should consider moderation.

useta 9 years ago

K-State fans DO NOT know how to drive in Lawrence, KS! I have been saying that and saying that. When they come to town in herds, they always have accidents. I know because I was crashed into by one before.

redneckwoman 9 years ago

I'm sorry for all involved, but very glad that the children on the bus were removed quickly so they didn't have to see.

PYT1984 9 years ago

I am completely with you on that one jafs.

ControlFreak 9 years ago

Regardless of what the company policy may be, the law states that people are not suppose to sit/stand/or whatever on top of a moving vehicle.

There were no seats up there for people to sit on, in the first place.

Whether or not people get up there when the bus is stopped is irrelavent to whether or not they should be up there when it is moving.

People died, it's unfortunate, but PYT is right, they should not have been up there. It was completely avoidable.

Now their families have to go on without them. It's sad and stupid.

ControlFreak 9 years ago


I don't think this has anything specifically to do with K-State fans, just people in general.

People do things all the time that are dumb. Sometimes people die or are injured from it.

KU students don't know how to drive either.

mom_of_three 9 years ago

This forum is for comment and debate. Yes, this was a tragic accident, and yes, there should be some respect to the people involved, but if you don't like what is written, don't read it this forum.
You know what it will be like,and who will write what, so just don't read it.
But don't criticize those who wish to openly discuss the accident.

lynnd 9 years ago

right on, mom of three!

your comments should be at the top of every forum on this site.

HappyFace 9 years ago

I feel so sad for the families of these men. Instead of placing blame....this column should hold only condolences. My HappyFace is very sad today. Not only for the families....but because of the immaturity of the people that respond in this column.
My prayers are with all involved in this....not only the victims...but the others on that bus...and the folks that witnessed the accident. If the busdriver didn't know that they were on top of the bus.....or, especially if he did.....God help him. :(

tenziewenzie 9 years ago

That is true. This is a forum where people have the right to express their feelings. People just need to be more aware that the family's of these people read this stuff. Everyone makes mistakes, that is why they call it freak accidents. People make bad judgement calls all the time. I'm sure each and everone of you have made a mistake in the past, and will make more as life goes on. JUst think about the family's before writting cruel things. Put yourself in their shoes.

PYT1984 9 years ago

Most of us are not writing cruel things. As I said earlier, all it takes is a couple of people to ruin something. You are right though, tenzie. We all do some stupid things, that is why I hope this horrible tradgedy is somewhat of a learning lesson. So that someone makes a different choice next time they decide to have some fun, even if it is saves just one family. I'm sure that if the families are reading these comments, they are fully aware of how ignorant people can be. If not, then they should avoid the comments.

Sharon Nottingham 9 years ago

In response to the comment "K-State fans DO NOT know how to drive in Lawrence, KS! " This has nothing to do with them being K-State fans. It could have just as easily been KU fans. It was a tragic accident with no intention of harming anyone. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of both individuals, as well as all the people who were on the bus with them. And to the driver, I extend my sympathy, because he is going to be blaming himself and I hope that he has the strength to overcome his guilt. I in no way blame the driver because it was just an accident.

Leprechaunking13 9 years ago

Yeah no driving skills were necessitated by the bus driver to go under and overpass. His driving wasnt the reason these 2 men hit that bridge, because they were ILLEGALLY on top of the bus and standing up while 15 feet in the air. Besides Lawrence drivers are some of the worst drivers of anyone in this area of kansas, everyone I talk to that comes to Lawrence and isnt from here can't believe some of the sh*t they see Lawrence people pull on the road.

nlf78 9 years ago

I feel bad for the families involved, but PYT was right. These were adults and they made the choice, no matter my opinion on the actual choice, to stand on a moving bus. I think it was a horrific tragic choice and the families are in my prayers. Please learn from the outcome of these 2 adults choices and don't make the same mistakes!!

TheEleventhStephanie 9 years ago

Come on. If this had happened somewhere else, out of town, hell Topeka, for example, people would be making comments like "Darwinism at work" etc. Since it happened here, everyone is expected to be completely PC and say nothing but "So sad, my condolences to the family..." MomofThree is right, this forum is for discussion. As is the nature of discussion, it involves debate. Not everyone here is going to agree and someone is always going to be offended by what someone else says.

Now is where I throw in my obligitory "I am sorry for all the families involved." I really am. It was a horrible accident, but let people discuss it already. Isn't that what this forum is for?

lawrence113 9 years ago

TheEleventhStephanie ... your obligatory "I am sorry for all the families involved"? Gee. Don't knock yourself out, there.

willie83 9 years ago

"K-State fans DO NOT know how to drive in Lawrence, KS! I have been saying that and saying that. When they come to town in herds, they always have accidents. I know because I was crashed into by one before."

What a ridiculously stupid comment. I guess they know how to drive everywhere else, except Lawrence. I would say that's more of a commentary about Lawrence streets than K-State fans.

PYT1984 9 years ago

Wow, Mr_ Remirez. What are you, in the 6th grade? Honestly, I shouldn't even give you the satisfaction of responding, but I have tried to ignore you long enough. You are a prime example of the stupidty on these forums. I know what it is. You really like me. That's why you're trying to be mean. Remember? Just like in the 6th grade. You acted all hateful to someone, because truth be known, you really liked them. Thanks. I'm very flattered.

jonas 9 years ago

"Posted by from_beautiful_downtown_topeka (anonymous) on November 21, 2006 at 11:15 a.m. (Suggest removal) I think that the bus driver is gonna be brung up on charges. As well he should. The buck stops with him."

So, if instead they had opened a window and thrown themselves out, would you still believe him to be culpable? The buck should stop with the people who made a bad choice and had some bad luck to compound it, I would opine.

On the other hand. . . .

To paraphrase Jesus: Let he that has never done something totally, irresponsibly dumb throw the first spitwad. The only difference between these two people and, I would be willing to bet, virtually everyone else currently posting on this board is that when these two guys did something not so smart, there happened to be a bridge there. I've lost track of the times that, if I had run out of luck, my own conduct would have gotten me killed.

TheEleventhStephanie 9 years ago

"Posted by couranna1 (anonymous) on November 21, 2006 at 11:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah you really sounded sincere. Liberal lawrence compassionate Lawrence what a bunch of crap"

Good! Discussion! Exchange of opinions, exactly what this forum is for! I now know that your opionion is that I'm not sincere. I couldn't care less what you think of me or my opinions since we are complete strangers, but I do appreciate the fact that we are participating in a discussion--whether or not we agree or you think I'm sincere. That's the point of this forum.

Sandra Willis 9 years ago

um ... ANYONE who comes into Lawrence has problems with traffic, how to get where they want to go, safely, etc.

How many times have I had a friend get Hit by a parent in town, but not had the offending driver ticketed; instead getting a ticket themselves? Three times that I know of.

hockmano 9 years ago

Hey( USETA) I didn't know that anyone knew how to drive in this town. I have had several close ones lately and none of them were my fault. Too many drunks! Too many people on cell phones. And too many just plain bad drivers!

I feel so sorry for the familes but I think that bus was just an accident waiting to happen.

Kristen Murphy 9 years ago

Posted by lynnd (anonymous) on November 21, 2006 at 9:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm guessing- and hoping- that this "rule" will change, especially since it's also against the law for people to be on top of the bus while it's in motion.


As a K-State fan and concerned resident - I hope it is changed as well.

As for the K-State fans not be able to drive in Lawrence - pot meet kettle. :o)

countrygirl 9 years ago

Interestingly enough, I met a bus set up a lot like this one but painted in KU colors on K-10 Saturday, compelte with a roof deck. So is that one an accident waiting to happen too?

countrygirl 9 years ago

Opps, complete--my mind must already be on pumpking pie. Sorry!

lawrence113 9 years ago

MomofThree wrote: "This forum is for comment and debate. Yes, this was a tragic accident, and yes, there should be some respect to the people involved, but if you don't like what is written, don't read it this forum."

Mom, PYT, Eleventh and so forth ... yes, this forum is open for comment and debate. It does not mean you can post some of these tasteless or nonsensical comments without drawing criticism for them. If you don't like it, YOU don't have to continue reading the thread, either.

PYT1984 9 years ago

lawrence113 what the heck are you even talking about. From what I have read none of us are complaining about things that are being said. And the comments we are making, make complete sense. I am only responding to a new friend I have made in Mr_Remirez. BY the way, Mr_Remirez, who is Michael Jackon? Oh and guess what else? I has me a job. Fulls time even. Ha Ha! I'm teasing. I really do work full-time. Have a nice Thanksgiving with your family, Mr_Remirez.

Laura House Blanchard 9 years ago

This is very tragic and could have been avoided. Yes people do crazy things when they shouldn't have. All of these people making comments act like they have never done anything to put themselves in danger....

Just imagine if some KU fan would have gotten killed or seriously hurt when the goal posts came down on Saturday. It would be just as tragic and just as irresponsible for all of the students and fans that were down on the field when they weren't supposed to be either or carrying the goal post around hitting cars and people... but it happens.

Leprechaunking13 9 years ago

lmbnoz: If that had happened the same people would be on here saying that the were dumb for doing it and that they are the ones at fault, no one else. As it was stated adults make choices, some aren't the right ones. These guys made two bad choices: 1: being on top of a bus while it's in motion, and 2: They were standing, while on top of the bus that was in motion. It's called common sense people, either you have it or you don't for most people larryville residents included, common sense is not to the par it should be.

Crispian Paul 9 years ago

I am so soory for the families of EVERYONE affected by this accident. I drove by just after it happened and had no idea what was going on. Coulda, woulda, shoulda will not change anything. Hopefully, EVERY person in this area will learn a hard won safety lesson from this.
Also, what DOES Pedro Irigoniguray have to do with this? He also represented the mother of Shannon Martin, murdered in Costa Rica in 2001, when she was trying to figure out what had happened to her daughter, he's represented lots of others. Even still does this or an abortion debate regarding George Tiller have any place in a discussion like this? I really don't think so. That was simply a way to get back to a person's particular agenda rather than addressing the discussion at hand.

PYT1984 9 years ago

How do you come to the conclusion that we are acting like we have never put ourselves in danger? That's absolutley ridiculous for you to assume something like that. We are commenting on the accident that happened here in Lawrence Kansas involving a K-State fan bus before the KU vs. K-State game. Not what if situations like KU students and the goal posts or us acting like we have never put ourselves in danger. Good lord, pay attention. If you are going to try and make a point, please make it a valid one.
We put ourselves in danger everytime we walk out our front doors. But, I am sorry this was something that didn't have to happen. and because they made the choice they did, their families will forever suffer the consequences. The fact that lawyers are involved already is pathetic. They are like vultures. My main point and opinion here is that there are appropriate situations in which to sue. This, in my opinion is not one of them. Doesn't mean I don't feel bad for the families or for the two men. They chose to stand on top of the bus, which resulted in death and a very serious head injury. PERIOD!

billybeanbag 9 years ago

The anonymity of message boards brings out the socially inept yet again.

Sure it's okay to discuss a thing, to deal with the horror of a tragedy in your own way, some people crack jokes, some poke jabs, others cry in their coffee and even others lash out. But just because you're in another room doesn't mean you can't post while keeping in mind the sentiments of the readers who will see your words.

Just as grammar dictators shout "spell check!" I shout "PATHOS!" think about how you'd feel on the flip side of this ordeal, would it really put you out that much to have some empathy when crafting your finely wrought posts?

My thoughts are with the survivors, both those present and those left behind.

gutenberg 9 years ago

Seatbelts? Compassion? Introspection? Prayer. Faith. Learning. Accidents happen. Stupidity can be innocence and ignorance in retrospect.

Hilary Morton 9 years ago

Guys, please consider getting jobs that require you to work during the day. It's really pretty fun.

Evan Ridenour 9 years ago

This is natural selection at its finist.

Redzilla 9 years ago

This is a really horrible incident, but what's worse is I can't stop laughing every time someone says "Christian D. Orr." Come on, Christian D. Orr? Who knew the fashion impresario was a K-State fan?

lesdrew 9 years ago

After reading your comments, I just have to make one myself. Get a life. Show some compassion. The lives of two young families were completely devestated on Saturday. One mother will be raising her unborn child by herself. Another mother will be raising two young children and coping with the fact that her husband has received a tramautic brain injury. At this point, we have no idea as to how Mr. Orr will recover from this accident.

This was a tragic event that was more than just how K-State fans drive in Lawrence.

Many people's lives were changed from this one accident, including mine. I'm a close friend of Mr. Christian D. Orr and I'm damned proud to say so. He is a great friend to me and a great father to his children.

If you want to rant, remember that when you post things on the Internet, anyone could be reading it. Even those who know the human effect of this horrific accident.

FormerCentralKansan 9 years ago

I have 2 questions that really have yet to be answered:

  1. Does anyone really think this was the first time people have stood on the CatTracker bus roof while it drove around town??? I'm curious to know what was going on while these people were on the roof. Gut feeling says they were up there raising hell but who knows. I'm sure the real story will come out eventually. This accident was YEARS in the making. I'm sure there were many other incidents/close calls that happened and no one ever said a word. Just looking at the thing really makes you wonder how safe it was to begin with.

  2. What is the deal with the white "KSU" firetruck? Was this once a city-owned firetruck that someone purchased and turned into another rolling advertisement for KSU? Let me guess---all the lights on it are purple and the siren plays the KSU fight song? Also---are those real firemen who man the truck or just KSU fans dressed like fireman? It looks to me like a group of grown men were lacking for attention and this is what they came up with.

This whole deal just seems out there to me until I hear more from KSU fans who are familiar with these 2 vehicles and their purpose. It's a terrible tragedy that one person died and one person was hurt so bad. Their lives and their families lives will never be the same.

Kristine Bailey 9 years ago

I was riding on a double decker site seeing bus in New York City last month. The first thing they said on the loud speaker was "Don't stand up, you will be hit by the hanging stop lights". You could have raised your hand and hit them.

That is all I could think of when I heard of this tragety.

willie83 9 years ago


And what do you do for fun? Your little "serious and meaningful" life is probably peppered with stimulating conversations with a nice latte or California Pinot Nior. Well, not everybody gets off by being so self important and locally relevant.

Some of us have important and relevant jobs and enjoy frivolity on the weekends, you self loathing lib. You need to loosen up and let some of that warm gas escape out the other end and give us all a break.

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

not_dolph - I'm too lazy to join the mercury in order to read whatever article you're talking about. Maybe it was or maybe it wasn't illegal to ride atop the Cat Tracker. It is being mentioned as "double-decker bus", which means to me that had an open section on the top, most likely with seats. If there were no seats, then it probably was illegal to ride up there. If there were seats, then chances were that it was legal to ride up there, just not stand up there. Generally, when people die a violent death, SOMETHING illegal was going on. But is that really the point of all this? Some one died and someone else is close to death. THAT is the point and it is sad.

not_dolph 9 years ago

Jersey...too bad you are too lazy. Today's article in the Mercury says that the person who was driving the Cat Tracker when the accident occurred, had 3 prior DUI's...sorta changes things a bit.

Kristen Murphy 9 years ago

Well there were 8 other people riding atop of the Cat Tracker bus and they all ducked. The two that got hit were not paying attention.

I wouldn't consider it out of control Cool - stuff happens. Like I said way above, this was the first accident in 20 years. So yeah, they are out of control ALL the time.

Jersey - there isn't seats, they bring lawn chairs up there to sit on. When it is moving (normally not around bridges - ie: Manhattan), they stand (and the bus doesn't go very fast) or just sit there. I'm sure it is illegal, but I'm sure the cops do not say anything if they're sitting down. From what I've heard (and being an Alum from KSU that has attended MANY tailgates with the Cat Tracker), they are allowed up on top when it's moving inside city limits.

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

not_dolph - how many DUIs the driver has had has nothing to do with people standing atop a moving bus that is passing under a bridge. It went UNDER a bridge, not INTO or OFF a bridge. And concidering the seat belt laws, yes, I would imagine riding in/on a moving vehicle while sitting in a lawn chair is illegal, since last I checked, lawn chairs didn't come equipped with seat belts.

KStater - I don't know that I would say that people are allowed up top the Cat Tracker when it's moving inside city limits. The cops in Manhattan may look the other way, heck, most cops may look the other way when people ride atop the Cat Tracker, but they really can't when something bad happens.

not_dolph 9 years ago

Well, Jersey - clearly the driver has not used the best judgement in the past. It indicates that, whether impaired or not, he might not have been using the best judgement in transporting a number of people around. Apparently, his license was suspended and he probably shouldnt' have been driving at I guess it has a little to do with EVERYTHING. You might want to direct your comments about seatbelts and lawnchairs to KStater, since I had nothing to do with them...

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

Again, not_dolph, the bus was driven UNDER the bridge that many of us in Lawrence drive under everyday, as do 18-wheelers and Lawrence buses. The two men hitting their heads on the bridge (my apologies to anyone who knew the two men for my bluntness) not the driver's fault. Iowa Street is not only a major street but a state highway, which is probably why the bus was traveling on it. Most highways have similar overpasses. If the police have always turned a blind eye in the past to people riding atop the Cat Tracker, why all of a sudden should the bus driver take the full responsibility for this horrible accident? The two men were adults and they made the decision to ride up top and then to stand while the bus was in motion.

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

And while it might make the families of the two men feel better to have someone to blame and see punished for this tragic accident, it won't bring them back. Not_Dolph, why are you so determined to point fingers at the driver?

not_dolph 9 years ago

Yep, never said they weren't responsible for their fact, never said that the driver was responsible, either...

Maybe if you had read the other articles, you would see that they offer additional insight that is not being covered in the LJ World. But that might require a little too much effort for you to read the articles. Sorry not meaning to offend you by asserting you are too lazy to do whatever you need to do to read the articles to be informed - just using the words you used.

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

Reading the articles doesn't take too much effort. I just didn't feel like having to sign on to something else. If you really feel that I am missing that much info by not reading the article, then I guess I'll just have to make the effort.

not_dolph 9 years ago

Your call - I was just providing links for anyone else who desired to follow the matter. Just like others do on these threads...

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

Dude - that was an even bigger pain in the patootie than I thought it would be. I read the article and it has left me a little confused. At one point, it says the driver's license was "restricted", at another point, it says it is suspended. Perhaps in DMV language, it is the same thing, but I thought a "restricted license" means just that; one can drive on it, but there are restrictions on when and where one can drive.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.