Archive for Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Man dies from injuries in motorcycle accident

The accident happened Sunday

March 6, 2007


An Olathe man injured in a weekend motorcycle accident in Lawrence, died Monday at Kansas University Hospital, Kansas City, Kan, Lawrence Police said this morning.

On Sunday Jim Lewis, 63, was driving east on Clinton Parkway when he approached the roundabout at Lake Point Drive, according to an accident report. The front wheel of the motorcycle struck the south curb causing the motorcycle to tip over.


Jamo 11 years, 1 month ago

I would like to leave a comment for all those who have questioned this mans driving skills.

He bought his first bike at the age of 20. He races motorcross for years. He bought motorcycles for his wife and all his kids and taught them to ride from childhood. Saftey was always his first concern.

As far as the odometer reading. He has two other bikes in his garage each with serveral thousand miles. He has never had an accident.

I know this because he purchase a bike for me when I was just a boy and taught me to ride along with my mother and sisters.

BTW: 63 is not too old to ride. My dad was in excelent mental and physical condition. He came to the hospital as a John Doe. When I told the doctors how old he was, they were impressed. They guessed his age to be under 50.

When you BLOG...THINK!

girly 11 years, 1 month ago

I agree that was a very odd choice for a roundabout location due to the boat trailers and rv's going through to the lake.

unite2revolt 11 years, 1 month ago

was he wearing a helmet? how fast was he going? laying a bike down usually isn't fatal

Bruce Bertsch 11 years, 1 month ago

That roundabout is not hard to navigate whether towing a boat/trailer or driving a large truck. To not be able to navigate it on a motorcycle is likely NOT the fault of the roundabout but the rider.

Lowell Holmes 11 years, 1 month ago

While I hate the roundabouts as much as anyone, maybe the accident was caused by excessive speed which the roundabouts were supposed to reduce. Blaming the roundabouts based on the info in this article or just because you don't like them is not logical.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 1 month ago

"Blaming the roundabouts based on the info in this article or just because you don't like them is not logical."

That well describes Marion, and an endless list of other posters, who are going to shamelessly abuse this tragedy to go on yet another petty, pointless tirade.

jonas 11 years, 1 month ago

Anyone miss that this dude was sixty-three?! Ride on, old-timer, ride on!

You gotta go sometime.

kef104 11 years, 1 month ago

I have no problems with round abouts and traffic circles when they are properly designed and located. This particular round about is deadly. I have had several business associates travel in from Topeka and express suprise and concern about the sudden drop in speed and lane reduction.

For those of us that know it is there, we are prepared, for others, it is a dangerous intersection. It needs to be much bigger and should have remained 2 lanes. The round about in North Topeka, at hw75 and Rochester is well designed and should have been a model for this intersection.

Hopefully no one else will be hurt or die here, but it literally an accident waiting to happen. My condolences to Mr Lewis and his family.

compmd 11 years, 1 month ago

I hate roundabouts as much as the next guy, and this one is the worst.

Why on earth a single lane roundabout is installed in the middle of a four lane road with a 45mph speed limit is just beyond comprehension. You can't use the residential growth argument becaue I don't see any roundabouts popping up on 6th street. 6th is a US highway, but it has more development and more new intersecting streets. We threw a fit when they tried to just lower the speed limit and the city listened. The Clinton roundabout is far worse and yet nothing is done.

OnlyTheOne 11 years, 1 month ago

My guess is there's a driver out there that crowed him into the curb. I can't prove it but that's what experience tells me.

coolmarv 11 years, 1 month ago

Marion , Hiding your "condolences' in a joke is just sad and blaming the City for the accident is just lame. I guess this explains why you are the most 'responded to' blogger on the LJW. Your not afraid to speak your mind whether you make any sense or not.

kj 11 years, 1 month ago

There is still a lot of sand on the roads. Maybe he just slipped. I have heard of several motorcycles sliding on the sand.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 11 years, 1 month ago

I have easily pulled a 25ft sailboat through that roundabout and came nowhere close to hitting the curb. If this guy had problems navigating a motorcycle through that particular roundabout, it was an issue with his riding skills and nothing more.

Janet Lowther 11 years, 1 month ago

The radius of that roundabout is not nearly adequate for the speed limit.

A 45mph roundabout needs to be MUCH larger. That one is more like a 25 or 30mph roundabout. There is not ONE roundabout in this town, which is not a traffic hazard.

In any case, we need to call these so called "traffic calming devices" what they really are: TRAFFIC HAZARDS.

Emily Hadley 11 years, 1 month ago

This is a very sad and unfortunate accident. Motorcycle accident injuries are very unpredictable, due to the physical vulnerability of the riders.

I definitely agree that there is a lot of residual sand on the roads; it has been hazardous to all drivers. I have noticed light trucks peeling out on it, both my bikes slipping on it, and have seen motorcycles slip and slide sideways on takeoff, all where sand is present. I have had to be careful to keep very upright rather than leaning into turns on my bikes like I am accustomed.

The purpose of roundabouts, though, is to slow traffic at intersections while allowing people to avoid stopping completely, thus moving traffic faster and safer overall.

I believe the roundabout is there because of serious problems with speeding drivers in that specific area. I would assume that large trucks hauling boats would be very good candidates for slowing down as they approach the city, making the streets safer for everyone on the road.

indian 11 years, 1 month ago

When you are considering making such judgemental blog entries, please remember the family and friends of the victim... my husband has been lifelong friends with the Lewis' family... he practically grew up in their home alongside Mr. Lewis's son. Your words of judgement against motorcycle riders are in no way productive and they only serve to hurt in a time of loss such as this.


concernedparent 11 years, 1 month ago

I think I do remember reading in a previous story this man was in fact wearing a helmet. Sad story all around though.

Steve Jacob 11 years, 1 month ago

A very sad loss. If the city ends up in amy way liable for anything to do with the roundabout heads should roll.

KsTwister 11 years, 1 month ago

Hard to make those roundabouts on sand.

countrygirl 11 years, 1 month ago

Info from Answers some questions about how the accident happened and if he was wearing a helmet.

Olathe man dies of crash injuries A 63-year-old motorcyclist from Olathe has died following a crash near a Lawrence roundabout over the weekend.

Lawrence police said Jim Lewis crashed about 5:40 p.m. Sunday as he was eastbound on Clinton Parkway. He approached the roundabout at Lake Point Drive. He applied the rear brake of his motorcycle, and the front wheel struck the south curb. The cycle tipped over, Lewis fell to the pavement and both he and the bike slid toward the roundabout.

Lewis, who was wearing a helmet, stopped several feet from the center of the roundabout's landscape wall. Officials said he was flown to University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., and died Monday afternoon.

jonas 11 years, 1 month ago

"Posted by lmpaul (anonymous) on March 6, 2007 at 1:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey, Jonas - 63 isn't old."

Ha! You've just outed yourself as "old!"

ronwell_dobbs 11 years, 1 month ago

Hey folks, like 'em or not, these roundabouts are better than the "battle circles" one finds everywhere in east New Jersey, or Manchester, U.K. for that matter.

Just takes experience to negotiate 'em. That's all. Problem is that if the other person doesn't have experience, it can make your trip through very painful.

Can I insert a word for personal responsibility in here somewhere?

ksmattfish 11 years, 1 month ago

Those evil round-abouts are just the tip of the iceberg. Let's tear out all roads where there's ever been a fatality. For that matter, travelling at speeds in excess of 30 mph is really dangerous; let's reduce all speed limits to 30 mph or less. Recently a pedestrian was hit by a car downtown; we should ban all motorized vehicles on Mass St.

gccs14r 11 years, 1 month ago

If LPD can determine that he applied only the rear brake, that means that he locked it up and left the front brake alone. If the pavement was clean enough to pull rubber from the tire, it was clean enough to steer on and to use both brakes to slow for the roundabout.

Just because he was 63 doesn't mean that he had any riding experience to speak of. That's too bad. It's too easy to get a motorcycle license here.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 11 years, 1 month ago

Sounds to me like he was going too fast as he approached the roundabout. Speed is probably to blame. I'll take roundabouts over a stop sign any day of the week.

Tychoman 11 years, 1 month ago

Blaming the roundabouts and calling the City Commission directly responsible for this accident is slanderous and ridiculous. Marion, what little credibility I thought you had has gone completely out the window. Good job. You and Ann Coulter should be proud.

Sue McDaniel 11 years, 1 month ago

I was waiting for this to happen. I thought someone would hit one of the steel poles that are one foot from the curb. It is very sad for the family.

gccs14r 11 years, 1 month ago

I wonder how long it's been since Marion took an ERC or if he's even taken a BRC? Most folks who fear the front brake have no formal motorcycle education or had it so long ago that they're unaware of the great strides that have been made in motorcycle technology in even the last five years, much less the last 35 years.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago

Hey, here's a novel idea for traffic control...instead of installing roundabouts everywhere (eventually, we'll be going in circles everywhere), why don't they enforce the speed limits that are already in place?

If they'd post cops there every once in awhile, and ticket all the speeders, people would slow down.

I for one have no use for roundabouts. I think they're the most idiotic idea anyone ever came up with. If you're not experienced in how to navigate them, they just cause more problems than they solve.

And you can't get experience with them if you happen to live in an area where there are none. Visiting places every once in awhile that happen to have them doesn't make you familiar with them, unless you happen to have to navigate them on a daily basis.

Here in Ottawa, so far we've managed to avoid the damned nuisances. Some "progressive" sometime will probably succeed in getting them installed somewhere here, and then I'll start swearing every time I have to drive through them.

My condolences to the family. I heard about the accident on TV news the other night, and I was so hoping he'd make it. I'm so sorry.

Flap Doodle 11 years, 1 month ago

Marion, I'm not an expert on motorcycles, but I can recognize someone taking any opportunity to indulge his obsessive hatred of members of the Lawrence government. Jim Lewis only died yesterday and you are already dancing on his grave because you think it gives you a pulpit.

Tychoman 11 years, 1 month ago

Snap said it perfectly.

Tasteless and disrespectful, Marion. Look those words up in the dictionary and your picture and post history will be all that is required for a definition. You're using this for nothing than a biased, hate-filled agenda.

purplesage 11 years, 1 month ago

I don't like roundabouts and I choose not to ride motorcycles because of the risk involved.

Years ago, a family member lost control of a motorcycle and the resulting accident claimed his life. The contributing factor was washboard in the road which caused the bike, though only going 20 to 25, to go sideways and off the road. Poor maintenance or poor construction of the road was clearly a factor in this life defining tragedy.

I have noticed the number of tire prints on the curbs of roundabouts. This motorcycle is hardly the only thing to have hit the curbing. The roundabout was clearly a factor.

This accident reminds us that life is transitory and fragile and that the world abounds with hazards. May God comfort the family in their loss.

Brandon Perkins 11 years, 1 month ago

They said on 6 News Monday night that the bike only had 100 miles on the odometer.....

Thats_messed_up 11 years, 1 month ago

thank you Lawrence city Kommission for spending thousands of our tax dollars on a roundabout out in the middle of nowhere on one of Lawrence's only non traffic clogged 4 lane streets. Gotta slow everyone down even more than the incredible congestion-can't let anyone get up to speed (40 mph) going through Lawrence, they might not pull over and buy something. Now a poor old man is dead because you don't see stupid roundabouts out in the middle of nowhere in Overland Park just for the sake of.....................................who knows what the reason is supposed to be.

indian 11 years, 1 month ago

A 100 miles on the odometer means nothing...I know that I should not have returned to this blog, as I was warned, and now I see why. With few exceptions, posters on this blog placing judgement without complete knowledge of exactly what happened is not only pointless, but truly sad.

FYI: This was NOT his first motorcycle and he had raced cars at Heartland Park in Topeka and in road races across the country for many many years in his thirties, forties and beyond. This man knew how to handle speed, curves, and powerful vehicles. Please ease up on the speculations of driver experience or expertise.

Regardless of whether or not the roundabout is deemed safe by everyone, this was simply a tragic accident. Move on and allow the memory of Jim Lewis some peace...

Rick Aldrich 11 years, 1 month ago

sorry to lose a life on such a idiototic dumb money wasting idea. even the emergency personal hate these things. they say they slow down response time to calls. i live in a area where they put these 5 parking blocks in the middle of a 4 way intersection and shape it like a stop sign and call it a trafic diversion. most people drive around to turn a corner when the correct way is to turn in front of it. but no over the curbs we go and into the nicest yard on the block. and to top it all off the word is 6th and iowa is approved for a dual lane round about! get the stretchers ready.

somewhereinkansas 11 years, 1 month ago

Jimmy - I am so sorry for your loss. I am an "old" friend of your family. Our parents grew up together. You have a very special family that has touched a lot of people. I lived in Lawrence for 10 years and now live in a small community outside of Lawrence. Take the information you see in these comments for what it is - Lawrence - not bad not good - just comments from people who did not know your Dad. I am sorry that I read so far in the comments - it just isn't important and the posters did not know your Dad. Your families loss is personal - I have many good memories of your Dad and your family.

RockChalkJayhawkfan 11 years, 1 month ago

Here is the deal... My name is Chad Hedrick and this man is my uncle... He would never do anything to put himself or anyone else at risk of getting hurt or killed. Therefore, I do believe the roundabout DID kill my uncle. As Jamo said above, he raced motocross for years and nothing had happened to him, but once you have a stupid roundabout in a place where it isn't properly marked, any good driver will have an accident or a close call.. I do not care how good of a driver you are! Agnostick, you need to think about things before you write them, and understand what kind of position you would be in if this happened to your uncle or in jamo's case, your dad. Please, do us a favor and do NOT disrespect anyone about thier driving if you do not know what you are talking about.. Also, what does politics have to do with anything about a man being killed? It just shows what kind of a person you are, and that you have NO class. All in all, I would appreciate from NOW on, a little respect and NO more trash talking about my Uncle, as this is a tough loss that we have had to deal with. We will miss you Uncle Jim, and we will always remember you. I will see you in heaven! Chad. H

RockChalkJayhawkfan 11 years, 1 month ago

Agnostick, that is fine, and I do appreciate you answering me in this matter. Here is the thing.. What people say about how my Uncle died, and what really happened are 2 different things... I am not saying that roundabouts are necessarily bad things, but when it comes to them not being properly marked meaning no signs saying there is one to come, and the speed limit changing in a matter of seconds, that is when we have a problem. Obviously, this roundabout is in a dangerous spot, and being that it is, it needs to have signs saying that it is and telling all drivers to slow down! Now, since it does not, this is what I am arguing about, and I want you to understand that agnostick.. It might prevent crashes, and it might save lives, but this one did not, and it was because it was improperly marked. That is the reason my Uncle died, and why several more people can, if this problem does not get resolved. Thanks, Chad.H

7s4cindy 11 years, 1 month ago

I am Jim Lewis' sister-in-law. Jim was a man who gave to the community, not one who took away. He was in great physical condition, and looked many years younger than his age. He had excellent cycling skills, which covered over 40 years of experience. He owned and operated a very successful business in Shawnee Mission, Ks. He has a wonderful and very close family who will deeply miss him. Over 700 people came to his visitation. We missed everything because we were on a cruise. To those who understand this situation and give their sympathy, I thank you. Our family has a deep faith. Life is so very short. We appreciate your prayers. 7s4cindy

cowboy 11 years, 1 month ago

Came thru there today and hate this one but noted that the westbound lane sets up and enters the roundabout on the left side of the circle. The damn thing is offset to the left making the turn more severe than if it were set to the right of center. to make a long story short it makes the turn going west much sharper than normal.

If I had a bull dozer handy i could take care of this piece of crap.

7s4cindy 11 years, 1 month ago

Anyone who is interested in learning some things about the man, Jim Lewis, should access his obituary in the Kansas City Star. It says a lot, but not nearly all, concerning a wonderful man, who was my friend for almost 50 years, and my brother-in-law for 44 years. Jim was a man who respected and appreciated life, and was very careful in making judgments of others without full knowledge of the situation. Words like "Honesty' and "Integrity", were not just words to Jim, they were his lifestyle. As my wife mentioned above, there were overflow crowds at Jim's funeral, with people waiting in lines for over two hours to honor his memory. Knowing Jim as I do, it is my belief that if he was not able mentally process impending danger at the cite of his death, I implore the engineering staff to take another look at the design, markings, and signage which are currently in place. Jim had great vision, wonderful reflexes, an athletic body, high intellegence, and respect for the law. I would like to see the city leaders order a full review of the design in consideration of what is known about this accident, and what may yet need to be discovered. Please do not let Jim's death go unheeded, as some fluke; as Jim and his careful nature, would provide an excellent test case as to the potential safety of this roadway.

Hnda919Rider 11 years, 1 month ago

"and if the guy never road a motorcycle, he would still be alive."

If he never rode a motorcycle, he might not of ever truly lived either.

We all go sometime, sad deal, RIP and my condolences to the family and friends.

New motorcycles have what I call "greasy tires" - they require a break in period. This could of contributed to the accident.

The roads around here are still slick with road salt residue and sand, that also could of contributed.

I am not sure what type of helmet he had on, a lot of the current helmets are a joke - "novelty" helmets, a good full face is worth it's weight in gold.

Getting crowded by other cars, yes, it is and does happen, the rider has to deal with it.

Accidents happen, when it is our time, it is our time. It sounds like the man lived a wonderful life and gave back rather than took -

There are a lot worse ways to die.

As much as it pains me to say it, rider error causes the majority of accidents.

That does not matter, we lost a rider, a good man, and he will be missed.

My hope is that he is looking down on us from heaven and that we all meet again for that great ride in the sky.

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