Archive for Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Collision kills driver on county road near Eudora

July 10, 2007


One man killed in accident near Eudora

A two vehicle accident this morning South of Eudora claims the life of a Baldwin City man. Enlarge video

A Baldwin City woman who frequently passes the scene of Monday's deadly accident at County Roads 460 and 1061 said the intersection is a magnet for bad drivers.

"Most people just don't take very much care in taking the corner," said Cindy Foster, who lives on County Road 460. "I have had several close calls there."

Michael R. Niehues, 49, of Baldwin City was traveling east on 460 and was hit by a box truck, driven by Marvin D. Gibbs of Eudora, authorities said. Gibbs, whose age was not released, was heading south on 1061 when he struck the driver's side door of Niehues' Nissan Sentra.

Niehues was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Douglas County Sheriffs' Office spokesman Lt. Doug Woods. The cause of the crash is under investigation, Woods said.

"It's not necessarily a dangerous corner if everyone is paying attention and driving courteously," Foster said.

A sign alerting drivers to limited visibility and a reduced speed is a warning that many people don't heed, Foster said.

Douglas County Public Works Director Keith Browning said that just one other accident has taken place there since 1990. A noninjury accident occurred in 2002 when an eastbound vehicle on 460 failed to yield to a southbound vehicle on 1061.

"I know that the sight distance is limited, but we have not a significant crash history there," Browning said. "It's really like most of our county routes with two travel lanes and no shoulders."

Browning said his department plans to examine the crossroads to determine what factors contributed to the accident.


Confrontation 6 years, 9 months ago

Why can't we donate one of our roundabouts to Eudora?


Shardwurm 6 years, 9 months ago

I drove this route for 10 years and never had an issue. However, that's not to say it isn't a dangerous intersection. Until we know how fast the truck was going we won't know whether this was a case of speed or inattentive driving on the part of the deceased. In either case it's a tragedy and my condolences to the families of both parties involved. The truck driver will deal with this for the rest of his life.


shockchalk 6 years, 9 months ago

Centrist, That would be a good idea. Maybe a flashing light above the sign would help. The current location of the sign doesn't allow enough time to slow down to the appropriate speed.


Centrist 6 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps the yellow sign advising drivers to slow to 35 could be made a lot more obvious.

Whatever it takes to prevent accidents like this.


purplesage 6 years, 9 months ago

Any crash is significant to those involved.


linuxwebguy 6 years, 9 months ago

"Douglas County Public Works Director Keith Browning said that just one other accident has taken place there since 1990. A noninjury accident occurred in 2002 when an eastbound vehicle on 460 failed to yield to a southbound vehicle on 1061."

I don't believe that statement is accurate. I witnessed the cleanup of an accident at this very same intersection maybe a year ago, but definitely before 2002.

It is a completely dangerous intersection, and I have to drive it everyday. In my opinion, most commuters would not respond to lowering the speed limit. The small number of drivers who currently drive 50 MPH would reduce their speed to under any new limit, yet I still envision those who set their cruise control on 65+ MPH will not slow down, thus creating an even worse wreck. Mind you, the speed limit along 1061 is 55 MPH.

With all that being said, I didn't know Mike very well, I only met him twice. I know he shared some of the preaching duties at the Baldwin City Church of Christ, and he worked with churches not only in Baldwin, but around Northeast Kansas and around the world as well. I know he will be missed greatly.


logrithmic 6 years, 9 months ago

You guys should avoid that intersection. You are playing Russian roulette with your lives.

Consider taking 1900 Road (Highway 1079 or 1059) when coming or going to K10. Five miles, only one stop sign. The road begins at 460 highway and intersects K10 near the small, but now defunct, golf course between Eudora and Lawrence. It's much safer!!!

One word of note though - Douglas County Sheriff deputies patrol the road aggressively. I've been pulled over and I was with a friend, and she was pulled over. So drive the speed limit. The tickets can be a bit pricey.


farmgal 6 years, 9 months ago

jnixon, you are right. people coming from the north should also be slowing down and proceeding with caution. PAY ATTENTION! is the key here. & I agree, also, that it is more dangerous than the 56/59 junction because that junction has much, much better visibility. I've been traveling the Eudora blacktop for many years, back when it was the only black topped road in the area other than 56 Hwy.


Kookamooka 6 years, 9 months ago

I guess the Journal World isn't reporting ages anymore I'm sure to comment on it.


jnixon 6 years, 9 months ago

This is, in my opinion, a more dangerous intersection than HWY 56/59 Junction due to the visibility issue. Just this morning 2 semis barreled over that hill headed South on 1061 towards this intersection as I approached to turn left, Eastbound on 460. I always glance at the crest of that hill and if I see ANYTHING move I wait to turn! Same thing when I am returning home after a long commute from work. I also travel South on 1061 somedays and as I approach the hill I slow down and procede with caution. The results of screaming over that hill could be just as tragic if someone was moving a SLOW vehicle, like say a Hay Truck, across that intersection on 460 as I have encountered before. Bottom Line... People, Slow Down and Drive Safe! I have only been taking this route for 2 years and I have seen more accidents than reported in this story.


farmgal 6 years, 9 months ago

I too disagree with Cindy Foster. This intersection is very dangerous. Yes, you do need to be very careful, but even then, if someone is coming over that hill at 65+ miles per hour just after you've turned south from the stop sign, it could be a disaster. I often take this road to avoid all the slow speed limits (20 MPH) and heavy use of radar control in Baldwin. I'd rather go 55 on the Eudora blacktop (that's what we have called it for years) than 20 MPH through Baldwin.

When I make the turn south at this 460/1061 intersection, I immediately look in my rear view mirror to see if anyone just topped that hill, so that I can hit the gas fast if I need to, to avoid being rear ended. You have to really pay attention at this intersection.


logrithmic 6 years, 9 months ago

Cindy Foster is flat wrong.

For a while I was scouting roads to Kansas City and came across this intersection. I thought it was incredibly dangerous. Highway 1061 crosses a hill just north of the intersection. Traffic heading south are warned by a simple warning sign and I believe a slower speed sign that they will approach an intersection just over the hill (which they cannot see). How many of us respond to such warnings?

On the other hand, those heading east on 460 must cross 1061 at the base of the hill. So you have large trucks coming off a short but steep hill and you're supposed to cross or turn left and head north on 1061 when you can't see what's on the other side of the hill barreling down at you at 65 mph? In addition, when you cross, you are stopped at a stop sign. This means you have hardly any speed at all in which to maneuver out of the way of an incoming truck. And since the truck is coming downhill at you, it has little or no maneuvering room to react to you being in the intersection.

I realized I was not comfortable placing my life at risk to cross at this intersection and I now take 1900 Road (I believe its 1059) north to K10 if I'm headed that way.

Anyone going towards that intersection beware!!!

1061 has another problem when you travel into Eudora or exit on to it heading south out of Eudora. A 30 mph speed zone. I complained to Eudora city officials about the need to more clearly mark the speed, especially at night, and especially after exiting K10. When you have been traveling 65 mph plus from Kansas City, the tendency is to step on the gas after you turn south on 1061, but if you do, you run smack dab into the 30 mph speed trap set up by Eudora officials. This zone is not well marked and its clear that the cops hang out there simply to write tickets. Another reason to avoid 1061 in my opinion....

With all due respect to Ms. Foster, I feel sorry for those paying attention to her. And the reporter for this story should have been smart enough to realize how dangerous the intersection is.


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