Archive for Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Five KU students injured in single-car accident; two taken to KCK

August 21, 2007, 5:30 a.m. Updated August 21, 2007, 11:55 a.m.


Cars head north on Naismith Dr. Tuesday, August 21, 2007, past the scene of an accident just south of 19th Street Terrace.  A car filled with KU students crashed into the tree in the median.  Two of the students were flown to Kansas City area hospitals.

Cars head north on Naismith Dr. Tuesday, August 21, 2007, past the scene of an accident just south of 19th Street Terrace. A car filled with KU students crashed into the tree in the median. Two of the students were flown to Kansas City area hospitals.

Three Kansas University students remain in a Kansas City, Kan., hospital this morning after an early morning wreck near campus.

According to a Lawrence police statement, at 1:10 a.m., the driver of a Ford Mustang convertible, 18-year-old Nicholas Dutoit, of Olathe, lost control while headed south on Naismith Drive. The car slammed into a tree near 19th Terrace.

An emergency crew extricated Dutoit from the vehicle, and he was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital where he was treated and later released, said Belinda Rehmer, an LMH spokeswoman.

The wreck ejected two 18-year-old passengers from the vehicle's back seat. They were Amber Henke, of Downs, and Daniel Tuttle, of Olathe. Both were flown by air ambulance to the Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan. Tyler Duncan, 18, of Lawrence, was in the front seat and taken to LMH. He was later transferred to KU Hospital, Rehmer said.

KU Hospital spokesman Bob Hallinan said condition updates on Henke, Tuttle and Duncan were unavailable this morning due to the hospital's patient privacy policy.

Also in the back seat, Christopher Hong, 18, of Lawrence, was taken to LMH where he was treated and released, Rehmer said.

Police have said that all five were residents of the nearby Oliver Hall.

Officers have not issued any citations and were still working on an accident report, police spokeswoman Kim Murphree said.


classclown 10 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

TtownKUlivin 10 years, 10 months ago

We can expect A LOT MORE?! Can you please explain more? In my four years at KU I never heard of students, other than those walking across the one-ways (Tenn., Ky.), that required life flight to KU med due to a car accident. Especially on campus.

craigers 10 years, 10 months ago

ttown, generally speaking there are more accidents when more people are on the road. So when students come back it is natural that we will see an increase of accidents. And the speed limit on these roads is thirty miles an hour. I wonder how fast they were going?

classclown 10 years, 10 months ago

I didn't say anything bad ljw. By saying "Tis the season", I was merely pointing out that we can expect a lot more of these types of accidents to occur while KU is in session.

whiskeysour 10 years, 10 months ago

Not to ask the obvious, but I wonder if alcohol or drugs were a factor. . . .

Michael Stanclift 10 years, 10 months ago

That is like a block away from me, I wonder how I managed to sleep through all that?!

compmd 10 years, 10 months ago

"the vehicle was driving southbound on Naismith Drive, when it lost control and slammed into a tree near 19th Street Terrace...All five students are residents of Oliver Hall."

Guys! You missed the turn for Oliver by like 600 feet.

Two ejections? I wonder if they were wearing seat belts.

sourpuss 10 years, 10 months ago

I agree, compmd, you shouldn't be ejected if you are wearing your seatbelt. Wearing your seatbelt will save your life more often than not. Everyone, please take the extra two seconds to put on your belt.

I hope all of the students will survive, and in the future they will remember to belt up and drive carefully, because a "fun" evening can so easily end tragically.

compmd 10 years, 10 months ago

"And the speed limit on these roads is thirty miles an hour. I wonder how fast they were going?"

Way the heck faster than 30.

Eric Neuteboom 10 years, 10 months ago

Not hard to imagine an accident there if speed and or alcohol were a factor. Those turns are difficult to navigate at 30, and that section of the road always seems to be littered with sand and other debris.

Hope everyone is okay.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 10 years, 10 months ago

They must have left Oliver's parking lot, then just floored it. We're talking one block or so of distance to go from zero to nearly deadly. Someone had the pedal to the metal.

Look on the bright side: last night 5 risk-takers became model citizens. This is going to be a wake-up call for all of them (assuming, as I hope, that they all survive).

Steve Jacob 10 years, 10 months ago

Remember right past the Islamic center going south is a nice "hook" in the road.

Speaking of accidents, whay happened to the roundabout on Clinton Parkway? When did someone slam into it?

justtired 10 years, 10 months ago

unfortunately this "wake-up call" will be worse for the parents.

Laura Watkins 10 years, 10 months ago

p> is reporting that they were in a convertible.

freak2304 10 years, 10 months ago

I live right there where the accident happened and was the first out to the accident when it happened. This exact same tree was hit by another student who then fled the scene in their busted up car this time last year. I hope all 5 of you ended up being ok.

motomom 10 years, 10 months ago

does anyone know what happened several months ago out on the round-about by clinton lake? there is a little wooden cross with flowers there...i have always wondered who died there? just curious...seems so sad

wordsofwisdom 10 years, 10 months ago

Motomom: A motorcycle accident. The driver was killed. He was a man in his 50's and he hit the curb of the Round-about

Teapot9 10 years, 10 months ago

I was walking south on Naismith about 5 minutes after the car had crashed and saw the first cops and emergency teams arrive. The car was a black Mustang GT convertible (top down) and had crashed right into a tree. The way the car was angled made it appear they were driving south in the designated northbound lanes. The front of the car was destroyed it looked the the hood was made of tin foil and someone just pushed it back. The window was cracked all over the place but not broken per se. The guy in the front seat was wearing a blue KU t-shirt and had more blood on his face than imaginable. The girl was hooked up to an IV and carried off via stretcher. The Asian gentleman just had a bandage around his head and appeared to be alright but he was detroyed emotionally. I counted about 12 squad cars, 3 ambulances, and 2 firetrucks. The mess was totally cleaned up by 2:30am.

liquidsomadreams 10 years, 10 months ago

Black Mustang convertible. Next-to-newest body style. The passengers did not appear to be wearing seat belts.

Took off from a dead stop at 19th and Naismith, trying to beat a Ford Escort next to them.

They accelerated into the curve, almost hitting the Escort, lost traction, swung into the median and hit the tree. At about 40 mph. No more than that.

mom_of_three 10 years, 10 months ago

I hope those students realize how lucky they were.

And what if they missed the tree, and plowed into someone's house.

I might have my kids (who are of driving age and learning) read this story as what NOT to do.

lisabeth2002 10 years, 10 months ago

LJW, I have to wonder about the accuracy of this article. My husband and I live where this happened and were the first outside with the victims. One of the young men mentioned that he was the driver, yet he was not extricated from the vehicle he made it out on his own. The front passenger was extricated from the passenger seat. It was horrible to see this accident and I am happy to see that it looks like these kids will all be okay.

Kontum1972 10 years, 10 months ago

well somebodys gonna get a few lawsuit's slapped against them...

mb JoCo JuCo for the driver after the parents get through with him..end of driving career..LoL

Shardwurm 10 years, 10 months ago

Wow...with so many people 'the first to be there' or 'there within minutes' one wonders who in Lawrence besides me didn't make it.

freak2304 10 years, 10 months ago


lisabeth2002 is my wife and we were both "the first to the scene" at the same time.

esl03 10 years, 10 months ago

Class Clown~~~ You are so right about "Its the season" Because we have more Accidents with these students in Lawrence. You hit the nail on the head

JeffSpicoli 10 years, 10 months ago

I have to agree with lisabeth2002. I live two houses down from where this happened and was at the scene before the police and EMTs arrived. One of the students was on his back at the edge of their front lawn calling out, "I was the driver" over and over. I wondered if he had been ejected all the way across the street or if he had just crawled there. I also now consider that he may have been hoping to cover for his friend by saying that he was the driver. In any case, this was a distressing scene to witness, but I have to give props to the LPD and emergency services for their response time. The first squad cars were there just a few minutes after I heard the crash, thanks to lisabeth and freak calling 911 immediately after it happened.

I hear the squeal of brakes quite often on this street at night but almost never followed by the chilling sound of the impact I heard last night. Freak2304 is right about similar accidents from the past. I recall that previous crash well although I thought it was more like two years ago. I hate to say it, but these kids need to wake up and realize "The Fast and the Furious" is just a movie.

Evan Ridenour 10 years, 10 months ago

I think the better question is... how did they fit 5 people into a Ford Mustang?!

compmd 10 years, 10 months ago

And I think the better question is what kind of impotency problem does a (sober) Mustang GT driver have that he feels the need to race an Escort?

You do not want to be in a Mustang in any sort of accident. Year after year, they consistently rate "poor" overall in safety tests by IIHS. I saw the same type of Mustang wrapped around a telephone pole once, its ugly. I hope these kids turn out ok.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 10 years, 10 months ago

"I think the better question is: how did they fit 5 people into a Ford Mustang?!"

I'd say the better question is "What kind of idiot parents buys a Mustang for a BOY that young?" The kid didn't know better, but why didn't the parents know better?

compmd 10 years, 10 months ago

Well OldEnuf, clearly you're not CoolEnuf2BMyDad if you don't let me have a Mustang GT. I mean, don't you love me? Don't you want me to be happy?

Parents do it all the time. Mustangs are cheap. Kids think they're cool. Win-win for parents.

freak2304 10 years, 10 months ago

Maybe I didn't come from a family where I was just given a car like some others, but it's POSSIBLE that the kid chose and paid for his own car like me and others I know did when I was their age, which wasn't all that long ago. -shrug-

compmd 10 years, 10 months ago

freak, I did the same as you, I have bought and paid for the cars I've had. I never had any remorse about it. Think about it though. We're talking about a car that's valued anywhere from $15,000 to $17,000. How many 18 year olds at KU have that kind of cash lying around? Not many. So, let's say he got a loan. For his age and lack of credit (being 18), we're talking about something like a 5 year loan at 12% interest to buy an 03 Mustang GT convertible today. Then he'd have to get full coverage insurance, which on that car would be probably over $2,000 a year. And those things get atrocious gas mileage. If you're a full time student, you probably don't also have a full time job. All I'm saying is a car like that is beyond the means of the average 18 year old KU student.

weatherguy48 10 years, 10 months ago

--compmd (Anonymous) says:

And I think the better question is what kind of impotency problem does a (sober) Mustang GT driver have that he feels the need to race an Escort?--

Sorry to drift off topic for a sec, but the Ford Escort, especially GT models, can hold their own against a Mustang.

Back on topic, I've driven on that stretch of Naismith several times. As someone else mentioned, the speed limit is 30, but even THAT seems to fast for some of those turns....and those narrow lanes....I try to avoid it.

I hope everyone involved is okay.

way2busy 10 years, 10 months ago

I know 2 of the boys that were in the accident. My son grew up with them. I don't know all of the circumstances of the accident but I do know that both of the boys had saved up for their vehicles. Driving their parents cars until they had the money to afford their own. Some kids are spoiled these days but other work part-time jobs and save their money. My son just bought his first (real car) this summer. He had saved up for over 11/2 years. He paid cash. As for kids taking out loans, my son's girlfriend bought a Mustang GT and paid on a loan up until last month. She had it completely paid off in time to go to college. As for insurace, yes it is expensive but there are discount including mutiple cars(if you are on your parents). As well as good student discount. Both of the boys I know from Olathe were good students!! It is unfortunate and saddening that this happened! I wish they would have had the sense to not race. I also wish they would have all been wearing their seatbelts! As parents we preach and preach to our kids but we can't follow them everywhere they go especially when they go to college. As far as the parents go, remember that when kids turn 18 and are out of high school they take an attitude that they are grown up and we can't tell them what to do nor do we know ANYTHING!!! Take it easy on the parent comments. Most of us do the best we can and care about our kids more than anything. I can tell you that the boy that is still in the hospital has parents that love him dearly and have been there for him all of his life! I know they are just devistated!

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